NSW Government Abandons Metro in Favour of $50 Billion Transport Blueprint

Kristina KeneallyTHE New South Wales Government has abandoned plans for its $5.3 billion Metro rail project in favour of a $50.2 billion transport blueprint which will include a $4.5 billion express rail service to Western Sydney, and a $6.7 billion North West rail link from Epping to Rouse Hill.

The government will retain about $120 million worth of Sydney CBD property it has already acquired “so the sites are protected for a future metro.”

This should pacify some vendors who have sold properties, or shaped their leasing decisions, thinking they’d be surrounded by a construction zone.

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Two Melbourne Train Stations Identified as Terminals For Sydney-to-Melbourne High Speed Rail Link

MELBOURNE’s Southern Cross rail station (pictured) – formerly known as the Spencer Street Station – could get a $2 billion upgrade, as part of plans to build a high-speed rail link to Sydney.

The rail tunnel, proposed within a federal government study last week, could cost between $61 billion and $108 billion.

The trip between Australia’s two most populated cities could take three hours, with the train reaching speeds of 350 km/h (outside of the capitals, where they’ll travel about 200 km/h). This compares to about an hour, by plane, or about nine hours by road.

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Balmain Leagues Club to Close For Five Years While Station and Apartment Village Developed

THE BALMAIN Leagues Club, in Sydney, will close for up to five years so developers can build a $200 million club, apartments, a public plaza and new station.

Former rugby player Benny Elias is involved in the development, which will start in late March after the club closes.

A metro station will be developed under Victoria Road, near the club – and the clubs existing site will be used as a construction zone.

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Sydney’s Lane Cove Tunnel For Sale at $600 Million

THE high profile owners of Sydney’s Lane Cove Tunnel are preparing to sell the asset for around $1 billion less than what it cost to build.

ABN Amro’s Diversified Infrastructure Trust, Leighton Holdings, Mirvac, REST and Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing are amongst the owners of the 3.6 kilometre tunnel, which is expected to sell for about $600 million.

The asset will generate an income until 2037.

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Take Photos of Your Property Pre-Road Construction, Rozelle Residents Warned

BUILDING inspection giant Archicentre has warned residents in Sydney’s inner-west to take digital photos of their properties, ahead of major new roadworks nearby, which threaten to damage of their properties.

“At the very least all home owners should be taking a digital photographic record of their homes and its condition inside and out with a date stamp on the shots to record the conditions of their home for any legal disputes in the future,” Archicentre state manager Angus Kell told the Daily Telegraph.

He added if this was not possible, residents should commission reports on their homes detailing any damage caused.

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Ringwood Clocktower to be Replaced with a Bus Lane: Victorian Department of Transport Proposal

Ringwood ClocktowerRINGWOOD’s Memorial Clocktower Park will be replaced with a one-way bus lane, under plans being proposed by the Department of Transport and to be considered by the Maroondah council.

The proposal would see a park relocated to a site, currently used as a car park, east of the Clocktower.

A large cypress tree and other vegetation will be removed to allow bus access to a new railway station interchange from Wantirna Road.

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ALP Backflips on Controversial Growth Areas Tax

Justin MaddenTHE LABOR Party has buckled to mounting voter and media pressure, related to a perceived unfair tax imposed on homeowners in Melbourne’s growth areas.

Footballer turned Labor Party Planning Minister Justin Madden had previously expected land owners in some Melbourne areas to pay a $95,000 per hectare tax, which would pay for things such as infrastructure and roads, and attract more development (or developers).

It’s been argued the government, or major developers which will benefit from from the investment, should flip the expected $11 billion bill – rather than profit from it.

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