Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today welcomed a major national award which recognises the strong and focused community consultation on the NSW Government’s $8.3 billion North West Rail Link project.
The project last night won the Planning Institute of Australia’s Public Engagement and Community Planning Award for its stakeholder and community engagement – on Australia’s biggest public transport project currently under construction.
This follows the North West Rail Link project team being recognised at a state level last year for its stakeholder and community engagement by the NSW Division of Planning Institute Australia.
The judges found:
“This project caught the judges’ attention because of the scale of the engagement process that was managed effectively in a way that involved not just listening to the community but also resulted in changes to the outcomes of the concept.
“The consultation was focused on building a relationship with the community based on confidence in the process and where community objectives prevailed over engineering solutions.
“The process showed how Transport for NSW has really embraced a new philosophy where the customer is at the centre of design, planning and delivery of project.”
“As I said when we set up the North West Rail Link project team in April 2011 to fast-track this project – the community comes first,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We’re getting on with the job of building the North West Rail Link and this is great recognition for a project whose hallmark has been ongoing consultation with the local community every step of the way.
“From the planning stage and now into delivery, we’ve been constantly talking to the community and taking on board their feedback – allowing us to deliver the best project possible for the booming North West region of Sydney.
“The community has been waiting for this critical infrastructure investment for a very long time – and we’ve made sure they have been part of the design and planning of the North West Rail Link since day one.”
Major improvements to the project after community feedback includes:
· Going from six to eight new railway stations;
· Increasing commuter car parking by 1,000 spaces – to 4,000;
· Securing the future of the Castle Hill Showground;
· Easing disruption to Norwest Boulevard during construction by slightly moving Norwest station;
· Reducing the size of the Cheltenham construction site by more than 2,000 square metres; and
· A new landmark bridge over Windsor Road at Rouse Hill which will lessen construction impacts on motorists while the North West Rail Link skytrain is built.
“It’s full steam ahead on the North West Rail Link – the first of the four massive tunnel boring machines will be in the ground before the end of this year, on scheduled and as promised,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“I’d like to congratulate North West Rail Project Director Rodd Staples and the entire project team for this award. It’s a great recognition of their hard work getting on with delivering this important project.”