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Minister gives construction guarantee
PARRAMATTA’S premier dining strip, Eat Street.  has been given a guarantee that light rail construction will not start until at least 2020.

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said the government has listened to local businesses’ concerns.
“We want to give businesses as much certainty as we can and have heard loud and clear that shops and eateries on Church Street would like as much time as possible to prepare for Parramatta Light Rail construction works,” Mr Constance said.
“Our priority is to ensure local business owners have all the support they need well in advance of, and  during  construction.  These businesses  need  certainty  so  we  are making a rock-solid commitment that construction will not start in this dining strip until 2020.”
The NSW Government’s decision follows extensive community consultation including surveys of local businesses and more than 125 community information events.
“Parramatta  Light  Rail  will provide valuable new  infrastructure  which  will  improve access  to  businesses,  and  bring  more  people  to  this  vibrant  restaurant  and  café precinct,” Mr Constance said.
“Building  this  major  project through  the  heart  of  Parramatta is  not  without  its challenges. We will ensure our contractors work to their scheduled program, maintain access to businesses and proactively manage any noisy or out-of-hours work.”
Transport for NSW is also investigating how Eat Street – defined as Church Street, between Palmer and George Streets – could benefit from a flexible construction schedule which works around the street’s busiest trading times, weekends, early evenings and holidays.
Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee said businesses in the Parramatta CBD will also benefit from free one-on-one business support development workshops, marketing and merchandising advice from a specialist support service and the establishment of Business Reference Groups.
“Businesses will be provided plenty of notice about construction start dates once the two major contracts for the project are signed by the end of the year,” Mr Lee said.
More information about major construction and the timeframes will be available after the final contracts are awarded by the end of 2018.
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Michael Walls
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