Redfern Station’s much needed upgrade is still no closer to fruition after it was canvassed in State Parliament last Thursday.
11,000 signatures were collated and passed onto Parliament by campaigners of ‘Lift Redfern’ who had been working towards having the issue discussed since January 2011, with the hope of a timeline being created for an upgrade.
Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said in Parliament last Thursday 35 stations across Sydney will be upgraded, but did not include Redfern.
She said: “Redfern station was not one of the stations included on that list because it has specific issues … The number of people who use it means that its upgrade is much more complex than that required at an average suburban station. Obviously it requires more extensive work, which will be more costly.”
Greens Councillor Irene Doutney from the City of Sydney says she was disappointed with the outcome as so many groups around Sydney have been supporting the ‘Lift Redfern’ campaign.
She said: “Community members invest huge amounts of time and energy getting these signatures in the belief that it will make some sort of difference … all they get is more political grandstanding and a continuation of the blame game between the two major parties while the interests and concerns of the community are lost in their point scoring.”
A spokesperson for Transport NSW said Redfern station will “grow as the population increases.”
He said: “More planning and design work will now occur to see which projects will come next, centred on evidence-based criteria including: current and future patronage, the needs and demographics of customers who use the location, whether important services such as hospitals or educational facilities are nearby, and the accessibility of other nearby transport … Redfern Station will be considered as part of this ongoing work.”
Redwatch community group spokesperson and ‘Lift Redfern’ campaigner Geoff Turnbull said there have been pushes to improve Redfern station for nearly 20 years.
He said: “The first government plans I saw were in 1995. In 2003 a community meeting was told if there was not a state intervention in the area that we would not see the upgrade until 2011. The interventions came and went and still no station. There was an announcement that it was imminent in 2006 but it went nowhere.”
Redfern Station has the second most line inter-changes after Central and is the seventh busiest station in Sydney. Despite accommodating more than 46,720 commuters each day, the Station does not yet have an elevator, causing significant difficulty for the elderly and people with a disability.