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Light rail snub fears continue for boom suburb

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Camellia, the former “industrial wasteland” where factories such as James Hardie operated for decades, will transform into an 18-hour entertainment riverside precinct with up to 14,500 jobs, 10,000 new homes and public open spaces, while some industrial use will be retained.The details are contained in the draft Camellia-Rosehill Place Strategy, a 20-year plan which is open to public feedback until Friday, March 4. It outlines “improved transport connections including light rail, road upgrades and cycling and pedestrian paths”.Stage one of the light rail will serve Camellia town centre but Business Western Sydney said stage two was critical to support its growth and link the suburb to Sydney Olympic Park. Building stage two will take the southern route through Camellia, adding more stops to service residents and workers.“Camellia-Rosehill is a peninsula and that limits the number of access points into the precinct,’’ Business Western Sydney executive director David Borger said.“The Place Strategy identifies a number of new road and bridge connections but it will be public transport and Parramatta light rail stages one and two that will have to do the heavy lifting.“The lack of a metro station at Camellia on Sydney Metro West only reinforces how critical Parramatta light rail stage two will be for connecting Camellia to the greater Parramatta region.”Opposition transport spokeswoman Jo Haylen said former transport minister Andrew Constance announced stage two in 2017 and $50 million was allocated for an environmental-impact statement but no commitment was made.She called on new Transport Minister David Elliott to make a decision.“He can keep the government’s promises made to the people of Parramatta, Olympic Park, Wentworth Point and Melrose Park or at least he can finally come clean and admit this project has been scrapped,’’ she said.“People have moved their families into the area, signed leases, opened businesses and made investments on the government’s promise to build this project. The government simply cannot leave them high and dry.”This week Mr Elliott refused to commit to the light rail’s second stage.He did not respond to questions from the Parramatta Adervtiser but told 2GB he already had enough challenges with ferries and the inner west rail without promising unfunded projects.“I’m not going to go out and announce brand new projects while our current projects are facing challenges,’’ he said on radio.“That would be treating commuters like idiots and I’m not going to treat commuters like idiots.’’Mr Borger said the second stage was a significant election issue for communities along the Parramatta River including the high-density suburbs of Sydney Olympic Park and Wentworth Point.“These communities could very well decide who wins both the federal and NSW elections over the next 15 months,’’ he said.Parramatta Light Rail also did not comment.Have your say on the Camellia-Rosehill’s future here.PARRA FBMORE NEWSAlleged flasher accused of sexual acts at popular park‘Never looked this good’: Parramatta’s Eat St back on track



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