The NSW government has unveiled a momentous proposal which could convert a major Sydney racecourse into a new metro station, entertainment precinct and space for up to 25,000 homes, effectively creating a mini city.
Under the plans, Rosehill Racecourse in the city’s west will be relocated to other properties owned by the Australian Turf Club (ATC), who approached the government with the idea.
The major announcement is confirmation that one of Australia’s most expensive infrastructure projects – Metro West – is going ahead after NSW Premier Chris Minns toyed with scrapping the idea after budget blowouts of at least $12 billion.
Metro West, which will link Sydney’s CBD and Parramatta, has an estimated cost of $25.2 billion.
The new plans, which will create at least one additional station at Rosehill and another possible station west of Sydney’s Olympic Park, will likely see that cost increase and push the completion date to 2032.
While the ATC will retain the site, funds from the major development are estimated to inject up to $5bn into Sydney’s racing industry, including avenues like racing, training and infrastructure facilities, and stabling venues.
Under the plans, Rosehill Racecourse in the city’s west will be relocated to other properties owned by the Australian Turf Club (pictured)
The major announcement is confirmation that one of Australia’s most expensive infrastructure projects – Metro West – is going ahead after NSW Premier Chris Minns (pictured) toyed with scrapping the idea
Although the plan will now be subjected to the government’s unsolicited proposal process, the ATC have already signed a memorandum of understanding.
Revenue from the development would be invested into a new training Centre of Excellence at Horsley Park, while a site at Warwick Farm will also be developed into a new track, including a full rebuild of training, stabling and spectator facilities.
A redevelopment of the Canterbury Park Racecourse, and an expansion of the stables and training facilities at the Royal Randwick Racecourse have also been flagged.
NSW Premier Chris Minns described the proposal as a ‘once in a generation opportunity’ that would secure the future of racing in NSW, and build more housing.
Revenue from the development would be invested into a new training Centre of Excellence at Horsley Park, while a site at Warwick Farm will also be developed into a new track, including a full rebuild of training, stabling and spectator facilities (pictured: racegoers at Rosehill Ladies Day last year)
Metro West will link Sydney’s CBD and Parramatta at an estimated cost of $25.2 billion and a completion date of 2032, with the new plans creating at least one additional station at Rosehill (pictured: a Sydney Metro train)
‘The Government sees this as an opportunity to put its money where its mouth is and build more housing, close to transport links, with plenty green space for new families,’ he said.
‘This is exactly the type of proposal my government has been talking about over the last 6 months.
‘The fact is we have a housing crisis – we aren’t building enough homes. The more supply we have, the more we can drive down cost of living pressures, whether it’s for renters or those wanting to buy their own home.’
David Borger, executive director of Business Western Sydney, said the new plans ‘finally puts the “west” in Stydney Metro West’.
‘A new metro station at Rosehill is the opportunity to transform a part of Greater Parramatta that has long needed attention. It can deliver 25,000 new homes and create an accessible “mini-city” with great connections to Parramatta and the Sydney CBDs,’ Mr Borger said.
‘The possibility of a second metro station west of Sydney Olympic Park would be a further opportunity to support housing and jobs.’
ATC Chairman Peter McGauran said it was a huge investment for the future of racing in Sydney.
‘This future-proofs Sydney racing for a century to come,’ Mr McGauran said.
‘It will cement Sydney racing as the best, most modern and financially secure jurisdiction anywhere in the world.’
Sydney Metro West, which will feature driverless trains, was originally meant to cost $17 billion but has since spiralled to $25 billion. Under the new proposals, that cost will likely increase
Sydney Metro has also been directed by the government to complete scoping studies for up to two new stations to be constructed between Sydney Olympic Park and Parramatta.
Currently the confirmed stations on the 24km line include: Westmead, Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park, North Strathfield, Burwood North, Five Dock, The Bays, Pyrmont and Hunter Street in the Sydney CBD.
The placement of the two new stations will depend on their ability to increase urban infill housing, as the state rushes to deliver Commonwealth-set targets of 75,000 new homes by 2029.
The government will also release its highly-anticipated Sydney Metro Independent Review, conducted independently by Amanda Yeates and Mike Mrdak.
The review will also endorse the potential of a metro station at Rosehill, and recommend the government implement a property and placemaking strategy on existing lines to ensure it can meet its housing supply priorities.
Coinciding with the tranche of announcements is also a commitment from the government to investigate more transport links within Metro West stations, like rapid buses.
The initiative was another recommendation made by the review, with Sydney Metro now tasked with preparing a rapid assessment to create new bus connections within the catchment areas.
Although the decision will be subject to a future investment decision, the aim would be to have the routes operational when Metro West opens.
NSW Transport Minister Jo Haylen said the revised Metro West vision would reducing crowding at train stations in Strathfield, Redfern and Burwood by 30 per cent.
‘Our review into Metro projects delivers Sydney an improved version of Metro West,’ she said.
‘It’s a new project for the whole of Sydney, building more housing and doubling rail capacity between the Parramatta and Sydney CBDs.’
‘It won’t just mean a new Metro service, it means better train services for Western Sydney too, including in the outer west and Blue Mountains on the T1 Western line.’