Western Sydney University welcomes smart decision on light rail
Western Sydney University welcomes the NSW Government's announcement of a Light Rail Network that links the employment, business and residential precincts of Westmead, Parramatta CBD, Rosehill, Carlingford and Olympic Park, saying it will be an important driver for the region's future economic development.
Professor Barney Glover says the announcement of phase one of the Network – which includes the University's campuses at Westmead, Rydalmere, and the future campus within the Parramatta CBD – is the 'smart' route.
It will provide a vital link for the more than 30,000 students who are located on the University's Parramatta-based campuses and who will utilise this much-needed light rail service, and connect them with the other key employment precincts across Western Sydney.
"The route the Premier has announced today is a critical complement to the extensive work that regional stakeholders from the corporate, education, health and local government sectors have been undertaking to retain, build and expand Western Sydney's knowledge economy," says Professor Glover.
"Transport connectivity is an essential, and in many ways catalytic, part of that process."
Chancellor, Professor Peter Shergold, adds that the University has been conducting a feasibility study to explore the possibility of establishing a Higher Education Centre at Olympic Park.
"We have been well advanced in our planning, but until now, the prospect of establishing a Higher Education Centre at Olympic Park has been marginal because of the lack of transport connectivity," says Professor Shergold.
"Today's announcement of a route that will connect our Parramatta and Westmead campuses to Olympic park is a wonderful opportunity for us to further advance these plans, and make a decision early in the new year."
The launch of the University's Parramatta CBD campus in 2017, with its planned 10,000 students, only adds to the case for the 'smart' route, says Professor Glover.
"If we are to draw international students to Western Sydney, then we must be able to provide them and local students with a truly world-class transport system – and one that also integrates free Wi-Fi access across the route to make studying and connecting with others a seamless experience," says Professor Glover.
"This announcement, and the pending confirmation of the Powerhouse Museum site at Parramatta, will no doubt have a positive ripple effect on planning and development throughout the region."
8 December 2015
Amanda Whibley - Manager, Media and Public Relations
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