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«Lake Macquarie City Council Submission to Infrastructure Australia Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange Lake Macquarie City Council 126-128 Main Road ...»

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Lake Macquarie City Council

Submission to Infrastructure Australia

Lake Macquarie

Transport Interchange

Lake Macquarie City Council

126-128 Main Road Speers Point NSW 2284

Box 1906 Hunter Regional Mail Centre NSW 2310

Phone: 02 4921 0333

02 4958 7257


Web: www.lakemac.com.au

Contact regarding this submission:

Kelly Lofberg

External Relations Specialist

Phone: 02 4921 0587 or 0419 604 553

Email: kalofberg@lakemac.nsw.gov.au 1 Contents Executive Summary 3

1. Lake Macquarie Profile 4 The Place 1.1 Map of Lake Macquarie

Figure 1:

The People 1.2 The Economy 1.3 The Environment 1.4

2. Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange 5 Strategic Context 2.1 What is the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange?

2.2 Railway station and transport interchange 2.3 Artist impression of the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange,

Figure 2:

taken from the Statement of Environmental Effects, prepared by Manidis/Roberts on behalf of RailCorp, Dec 2006 Road link proposals 2.4 Alternatives 2.5 Aerial view of Glendale/Cardiff

Figure 3:

3. Benefits 9 Why is the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange needed?

3.1 Location of Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange

Figure 4:

Benefits – Overview 3.2 Economic benefits 3.3 Social benefits 3.4 Environmental benefits 3.5

4. Recommendation 13 4.1 Partnership 4.2 Recommendation Cover – Artist impression of the proposed Lake Macquarie integrated transport centre, taken from the Statement of Environmental Effects, prepared by Manidis/Roberts on behalf of RailCorp, Dec 2006 2 Executive Summary The Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange (LMTI) at Glendale is a strategically important infrastructure project for the Hunter Region in New South Wales (NSW). It is a facility to encourage public transport use, reduce car dependency, and provide economic and community benefit to Lake Macquarie and the Lower Hunter.

Lake Macquarie is one of the fastest growing cities in the Hunter, and is the fourth largest city in NSW, with a total population of 193,092 (estimated resident population ABS June 2007). According to the NSW Department of Planning’s Lower Hunter Regional Strategy (LHRS), Lake Macquarie will grow to 260,000 residents by 2031.

The LHRS also predicts population growth in the vicinity of some 160,000 people, 36,000 new dwellings, and employment creation in the region’s major regional centres of 12,200 jobs over the next 25 years.

Glendale, which is centrally located to the Lower Hunter, is identified as an emerging regional centre and renewal corridor in the LHRS. The Glendale-Cardiff area is currently the largest employment zone in the region and is expected to experience an increase of 6,200 jobs and 4,000 dwellings by 2031.

The Glendale Regional Centre Master Plan preliminary draft has been completed with the view to provide broad direction for the development of the area. The location is strategically important to Lake Macquarie and the broader region. It is easily accessible by the expected 160,000 people within the Glendale/Cardiff area by 2031, will link to most of the Lower Hunter, and is located on the main north-south rail line.

The construction of the LMTI will provide an opportunity to create an integrated transport facility linking all modes of transport (rail, public, and private buses, commuter facilities, shared pathways) with a road network, to unlock the economic potential in the commercial and industrial areas of Glendale and Cardiff. The LMTI will enhance the development of the Glendale Regional Centre, providing an opportunity to create vibrant civic and community spaces which provide a focus for, and which reflect, the culture and lifestyle of the Lake Macquarie community. Importantly, the LMTI will meet the long-term environmental objectives of the Rudd Government.

Planning for the LMTI is well advanced with development applications for the railway station, and the overbridge and connecting roads now underway.

State and Federal Members of Parliament, the Hunter Business Chamber, NRMA, the Property Council, and Hunter Councils all support and list the LMTI as a regional priority.

This proposal is an opportunity for the NSW and Federal Government, in partnership with Council, to invest in a strategically important infrastructure project for the future of the city and the region.

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Lake Macquarie is located on the eastern coast of Australia; by road, it is 90 minutes north of Sydney, 10 minutes from Newcastle, and 40 minutes from Hunter Wine Country and the NSW Central Coast.

–  –  –

1.2 The People Our city is a diverse mix of cultures, age groups, and family structures, all requiring varying services and facilities. The population of Lake Macquarie is expected to grow by 60,000 – 70,000 people over the next 25 years with the percentage of our population aged 55 + increasing from 29% to 39% of our total population over the next 25 years.

1.3 The Economy Lake Macquarie's economic strength is built from its diverse landscape and natural resource base, with other key industries developing out of timber, agriculture, water, and minerals.

Today, the city has developed into a major hub for small to medium size business with home business generating $1.5 billion per year for the city. Knowledge and technology-based industries are exhibiting particular growth.

1.4 The Environment The natural heritage of the city underpins the high quality lifestyle experienced by Lake Macquarie’s residents and visitors. Natural ecosystem diversity includes over 38,000 hectares of remnant vegetation, wooded mountainsides, freshwater streams, wetlands, salt marsh, sandy beaches, and rocky shores, and of course Lake Macquarie itself. These are home to a variety of wildlife including 104 threatened species, populations, and communities such as squirrel gliders, green and golden bell frogs, powerful owls and the Black-eyed Susan plant.


2. Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange

2.1 Strategic Context The Glendale area has been long recognised as a location for significant new urban development. It is located in a position of high transport accessibility, at the convergence of several main roads, with relatively easy access to the F3 Freeway and adjacent to the heavy rail line and main road access to the Port of Newcastle. It is the focus of a number of bus routes operated by public and private operators, and contains a bus interchange facility.

The combination of its accessible location, the availability of vacant land, the relocation and/or closure of space extensive land uses and the availability of surplus Government land provides the potential for considerable change.

The importance of the Glendale area and the associated LMTI cannot be overstated.

The LHRS has identified this area as an emerging major regional centre; however, the Glendale-Cardiff area is already the Hunter Region’s largest employment node with 16,000 employees working in light industries, manufacturing, and warehousing and freight logistics. This is currently more jobs than exist within the Newcastle CBD.

Glendale is strategically located on the main northern rail line that provides direct rail access to the Port of Newcastle, Sydney, Northern NSW, Queensland and other population centres.

Additionally, the locality has the advantage of easy access to the main road networks such as the F3 Freeway, New England Highway, and Pacific Highway. The LHRS projects an additional 4,000 dwellings and 6,200 jobs in the area, however, with the redevelopment of the adjacent Pasminco and Incitec site, Council anticipates that the area will grow to accommodate an extra 7,000 - 8,000 jobs and about an additional 5,000 dwellings by 2031.

Glendale is also the geographic and demographic centre of the Lower Hunter and with the LHRS identifying major housing development to occur along the western side of Lake Macquarie, Edgeworth/Wallsend, around Maitland, Thornton, Cessnock and Kurri Kurri, the role of Glendale will become increasingly important. It is anticipated that 160,000 people will be within the primary catchment of the Glendale-Cardiff centre by 2031.

2.2 What is the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange?

The LMTI is a major infrastructure development for a new railway station and passenger transport interchange over the corridor of the Main Northern Railway Line, linking the end of Pennant Street in Cardiff with Glendale.

The LMTI is the number one infrastructure priority in Lake Macquarie for Council. The Hunter Business Chamber lists the LMTI as the number two priority in the region and the Property Council lists it at number three.

The LMTI includesThe construction of a new railway station, • Vehicle access, • Multi-deck commuter car parking area, • Bus/rail interchange, • Taxi rank, • Passenger drop-off and pick-up areas, • Facilities for bicycles including a network of shared pathways, • Overbridge linking Glendale and Cardiff currently separated by the railway line, • Associated road links, including new access points.

• 5

2.3 Railway station & transport interchange (approximate cost $30million) The Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation (TIDC) engaged by the NSW Government, is currently working on a revised development application for a transport interchange at Glendale, adjacent to the Stockland Centre. It will contain a twoplatform railway station, with capacity to accommodate eight train carriages. It also includes a bus interchange, commuter car parking, and pick-up and drop-off facilities.

It will be the main station for Lake Macquarie.

Capital funding has not been allocated to the project, although TIDC’s role is to finalise the development application and the design of the interchange, and the Station is a project listed in the NSW Government’s State Infrastructure Strategy (2006/7 – 2015/16). The railway station and interchange remains the financial responsibility of the NSW Government.

Figure 2: Artist impression of the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange, taken from the Statement of Environmental Effects, prepared by Manidis/Roberts on behalf of Railcorp, Dec 2006

2.4 Road Link Proposals (approximate cost $30million) The road link proposals are critical to the success of the railway station. This includes plans to extend Pennant Street (Cardiff Industrial Estate) over the main northern railway line (known as the Pennant Street Overbridge) to the intersection of Glendale Drive and Main Road creating a direct link between the two suburbs of Glendale and Cardiff.

This link will provide a second entrance to the Cardiff Industrial Estate. It will create a free flowing and convenient route for heavy vehicles travelling to the Port of Newcastle and F3 Freeway, and relieve congestion at the Munibung Road/ Macquarie Road intersection.

Modelling indicates that some 16,000 vehicles per day will use the link, of which around 1,500 will be heavy vehicles.

The project will also provide bus and commuter access from the south to the transport interchange, considerably improving its functionality.

An associated proposal has been developed to extend Stockland Drive to link with the Glendale Drive/Main Road intersection via the proposed Pennant Street extension.

6 This proposal will provide an additional access route to the Stockland Centre and transport interchange. It will relieve congestion of the Lake Road/Stockland Drive roundabout, which currently is the only access point to the Stockland Centre. The additional access will greatly improve bus and commuter access from the north to the transport interchange.

Both the Pennant Street overbridge link and the Stockland Drive link will also permit bus routes to enter the Stockland Centre and transport interchange area through one access point and exit via another, instead of retracing their route back through the congested Lake Road/Stockland Drive roundabout. This will significantly improve the efficiency and convenience of the bus network and transport interchange.

The Pennant Street overbridge will also greatly improve the efficiency of access to the transport interchange from existing urban areas to the south.

The importance of the Pennant St overbridge is increased by the proposed construction of new roads associated with the redevelopment of the former Pasminco site, to the south of Glendale. As part of the site redevelopment, Munibung Road will extend to intersect with Lake Road at Cockle Creek.

The Pasminco site redevelopment will generate a large amount of traffic movements from a mixture of light industrial, commercial, and housing development, all of which will benefit from the additional access to Glendale and a reduced reliance on Lake Road.

LMCC is currently preparing a development application for the overbridge and associated roads for lodgement by the end of 2008. Preliminary design and costings have been prepared, and some property acquisition has been undertaken. The NSW Government views this section of the project as part of the local road network, and therefore believes the funding of the overbridge and linking roads is the responsibility of LMCC.

Without the assistance of the Federal Government, it is unlikely that LMCC could fund such a significant infrastructure project. The creation of Infrastructure Australia presents LMCC an opportunity to formulate a partnership with both the Federal and NSW Government to deliver the LMTI for the benefit of residents in the Lower Hunter.

2.5 Alternatives The NSW Government investigated possible alternatives to the LMTI at Glendale.

These included to upgrade the Cardiff Station, design and construct a completely different station and interchange, and not to build a new station. The Statement of Environmental Effects, prepared by Manidis/Roberts on behalf of Railcorp, Dec 2006 indicated that the current site and concept was the most appropriate and was the only proposal that met all the objectives.

TIDC, which is now responsible for the development application of the railway station and interchange, is working in conjunction with LMCC to fully integrate the two elements (that is the railway station and interchange, with the overbridge and associated roads) and deliver the project concurrently.

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