A new research report urging the NSW Government to take greater advantage of future transport hub opportunities in Greater Western Sydney has been welcomed by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Council (WSROC).
The report was commissioned by the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) and prepared by eminent civil engineer and transportation analyst, University of Sydney professor David Levinson.
WSROC has been advocating for a north-south rail link since the 1990s and the report's urging of a rail extension through to the new international airport at Badgerys's Creek supports this.
WSROC believes it would open access to opportunities associated with the aerotropolis development, such as affordable housing and jobs.
They sees the need for a rail link as becoming more pressing, with unprecedented growth in the region and an extra one million people expected to live in Western Sydney by 2036.
Mr Levinson's report was made public by the UDIA on Friday, October 14.
Another study into rail investment to service Western Sydney and the proposed Western Sydney Airport was announced by the NSW and Federal Governments in November 2015.
The study's final report was released in March 2018 and included a proposal to build a 'North-South Link' from Schofields to Macarthur, via the new airport.
WSROC president and Hawkesbury City deputy mayor, Barry Calvert, said the Western Sydney Airport metro line should be viewed as an essential piece of the city-shaping north-south rail link.
"When complete, a north-south rail link would connect Schofields in the north with Campbelltown and Liverpool in the south, serving both established and new communities in the growth corridors in between," he said.
"By 2036, more than half of Sydney's population will live west of Parramatta.
"The north-south link will transform intra-regional connection and open access to opportunities."
Cr Calvert said the link would be a "key piece" in connecting the planning vision for the growing region's current and future liveability.
"One of the biggest challenges for Sydney is the struggle to retrofit transport corridors, after the demand for services has already exceeded existing infrastructure.
"Western Sydney's story is already one of road dependence. A daily exodus of more than 300,000 residents endures Greater Sydney's longest commute, mostly by car.
"The present lack of prioritisation of a north-south rail link is even now failing to provide better liveability outcomes for those transport-disadvantaged communities that stretch from the Hawkesbury to Campbelltown."
Cr Calvert said the link between St Marys and the new airport was a link that would do "very little to substantially improve intra-regional connectivity".
"Professor Levinson's research confirms what WSROC has been saying for over 30 years," he said.
"If we do not have a wholistic approach to transport planning with integrated land use planning based on accessibility, we will erode Sydney's global competitiveness for housing affordability, cost of living and liveability."