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Proposed railway brings home threat to Newtown residents

Residents of heritage-listed Leamington Ave in Newtown are reeling after an anonymous leaflet was dropped into their letter boxes declaring “Your house may be resumed, help stop it!” reports Aimee Scott in the Central of 30 June 1010.

Leamington Ave terraces: Could be 
compulsorily acquired

Leamington Ave terraces: Could be compulsorily acquired


The leaflet, delivered earlier this month, informed residents that their houses could be compulsorily acquired to build the 5km rail tunnel known as the City Relief Line.

“It appears that all the houses in Leamington Ave (and either side of that) may need to be acquired and demolished to make way for rail corridor expansion required as part of constructing the Government’s proposed CBD Relief Line,” the leaflet stated.

It included a map from a 2002 Hyder Consulting report for RailCorp titled “MetroWest - Construction Site Investigation” showing 33 households shaded as a “Construction site area required for CBD Relief Line dives and Main West Connection”.

The anxious Newtown residents united in the face of the threat and held a meeting on Monday, June 21.

They decided not to take active steps until they had a consensus.

“There was only three or four of us who knew everything that was going on,” one resident, who did not want to be named, said.

“For the other 30-something households, it’s the first time they’ve heard about the plans, and they want to digest the information before we decide what to do, together.”

Transport NSW has not ruled out compulsory acquisition of homes to build the tunnel. It released a statement on June 17 confirming that it is in the planning phase for a new 5km priority tunnel from Eveleigh to Wynyard, known as the City Relief Line, as part of the NSW Government’s Metropolitan Transport Plan.

“A key focus of the investigations will be to make as much use as possible of land in public ownership and minimise impacts on private property along the route,” the statement read.

“No decisions have yet been made about property requirements.”

A government-owned site at North Eveleigh could be used to build the tunnel entrance or “dive”. According to Transport NSW, the tunnel will separate western services from inner-city trains and deliver faster and more frequent rail services to Western Sydney.

However, the anonymous leaflet claimed: “The Government’s policy of faster trains for Western Sydney can still be achieved without the CBD Relief Line and without the need to resume anybody’s homes!”.

The safety of the Leamington Ave homes would be ensured if the Relief Line is built under Pitt St, the preferred route for the tunnel until it was earmarked for the Metro project that has now been indefinitely postponed.