Penrith Council supports federal budget

BUDGET SUPPORT: The focus on infrastructure in the budget is a step in the right direction for western Sydney says Penrith mayor John Thain.
BUDGET SUPPORT: The focus on infrastructure in the budget is a step in the right direction for western Sydney says Penrith mayor John Thain.

Penrith Council has welcomed the federal budget.

The budget includes $5.3 billion to construct the Western Sydney Airport and a further $10 billion set aside for rail through a National Rail Program.

Penrith mayor John Thain said the funding commitment and the establishment of the Western Sydney Airport Corporation to build the airport is a “strong statement” from the government. He said it demonstrates the financial viability of the project, which is expected to stimulate significant employment and economic growth well beyond the Badgerys Creek site.

Cr Thain said the budget places a strong focus on housing affordability.

“We welcome the government’s commitment to accelerating housing supply and delivering homes that have good access to local jobs and quality transport connections,” he said.

“This unprecedented investment in our region through the new airport is a step in the right direction in terms of the infrastructure funding we need.

“In 2036 two out of every three new Sydneysiders will make their home in western Sydney, meaning three million people will be living west of Parramatta. We see planning and investment from all levels of government now as critical to supporting this growth.”

The allocation of $10 billion to a National Rail Program follows Labor’s commitment of $400 million to a north-south rail from Macarthur to Rouse Hill.

“Funding commitments to rail from both sides of politics is encouraging and confirms that rail connecting the north-west and south-west, via the Western Sydney Airport, is a real possibility,” he said. 

“We know north-south rail will stack up, not only will it connect our existing communities and cut commuting times, it will also support new suburbs that will have access to public transport from day one, and town centres with local jobs,” said Cr Thain.

Cr Thain said north-south rail was central to Penrith’s aspirations for the City Deal for Western Sydney which is currently being developed by eight western Sydney councils, state and federal government.