I was very encouraged this week by NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance's comments about the need for light rail connecting Green Square with the city centre.
When the $8 billion Green Square development is complete the population density will be 19,100 people per square kilometre - the highest in Australia. The population of the area is already booming and there are nearly 10,000 apartments due for completion over the next four years.
The need for mass transit in the area is becoming urgent. Green Square West has a heavy rail station, but the concentration of development is in the north and east parts of Green Square, an area that is a 20 minute walk from the station. Residents rely on overcrowded buses which will not accommodate future demand.
Successive State Governments failed to provide additional mass transit for Green Square, which is why the City invested more than $40 million to undertake feasibility studies and safeguard a light rail corridor to Central. It is fantastic Minister Constance has recognised this urgent need and we will work together to provide for the fast-growing Green Square community.
The City is also investing $440 million on essential infrastructure for Green Square like roads, stormwater, footpaths and street furniture and community facilities including childcare, a new library and plaza, new parks and playgrounds, an aquatic centre and creative spaces.
At the same time we are also investing $220 million in the project to extend light rail through the city centre and Moore Park to Randwick.
This project is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reshape our city and on Wednesday I was pleased to welcome to Sydney Thomas Richez, whose firm Richez Associes has worked on light-rail projects in Paris, Bordeaux, Rheims, Tours and Orleans.
At an event hosted by the City, staff from Transport for NSW and builders of the light rail project were able to learn from his considerable experiences.
We have always looked to our international counterparts, to learn from their experiences. I hope the expertise of Thomas Richez brings to this project will help us transform George Street into one of the world's greatest main streets.