Sydney’s metro rail chief takes top job at Transport for NSW

The architect of the state government’s metro rail plans has ascended to the top job at Transport for NSW.

As program director for Sydney Metro, Rodd Staples has been in charge of the $20 billion metro rail line that will connect Rouse Hill and Bankstown via a new line under Sydney harbour, as well as early planning on a proposed metro rail line from central Sydney to Parramatta.

From next year, Mr Staples will be in charge of those projects and more, after assuming the job of Secretary of Transport for NSW.

Mr Staples had been acting in the position since the previous secretary at Transport for NSW, Tim Reardon, moved to the job of secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

“I’ve witnessed Rodd leading complex projects at very close range,” the Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said. “I have always been impressed by his command of the detail alongside his focus on the big picture.”

The Transport Minister, Andrew Constance, compared Mr Staples to John Bradfield, the engineer who oversaw the design of the Harbour Bridge and significant elements of Sydney’s rail network.

“He is a 21st century Bradfield, and is incredibly well respected across the government and among our private sector partners,” Mr Constance said.

Before the election of the Coalition government in 2011, Mr Staples had been in charge of the former Labor government’s controversial Sydney Metro plans.

With Mr Staples at Transport, Mr Reardon at Premier and Cabinet, and Carolyn McNally as the Secretary of the Department of Planning and Environment, Ms Berejiklian has three department heads who worked under her when she was transport minister.

The three were deputy secretaries in Transport for NSW at the time.