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HILLS residents have 400 million reasons to be hopeful that a Western Sydney Light Rail network will soon be a reality.

The state government has allocated $400 million to accelerate work on the project, with the first task to identify the highest priority corridor from Parramatta and carry out a detailed feasibility study.

The construction of two light rail lines in Sydney will require George Street to be dug up and disrupt traffic, state Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian has admitted.

Berejiklian confirmed on Thursday that the lines linking Sydney’s Circular Quay to Central and then on to Randwick would be treated as one project, albeit with the possibility they may be built in stages to minimise disruption.

Previously, it had been expected that the eastern suburbs line to the Sydney Cricket Ground, University of NSW, Randwick Racecourse and Prince of Wales Hospital would be built before the more contentious CBD line.

With a price tag of $1.6 billion, the line will reduce congestion in the city and give commuters a faster ride along George Street than the bus transportation along the route.

The light rail line from Circular Quay to Sydney's eastern suburbs is likely to open for services in early 2019, after the $2.1 billion contract for the project was signed on Wednesday night.

CONSTRUCTION on light rail down George St should begin by 2015 or sooner, with the network to the east and the inner west complete by 2022, an ambitious Lord Mayor Clover Moore said last night.

Speaking at a panel with tourism, property and retail leaders, Ms Moore said that within 10 years: "We can see light rail completed, the bike network completed, and light rail to Moore Park, Green Square and Barangaroo."But industry leaders admitted that building a tram down Sydney's busiest street would come at commuter pain.

Property Council of Australia NSW executive director Glenn Byres urged authorities to hurry the construction to minimise the chaos.

TRANSPORT Minister Gladys Berejiklian has committed $1.6 billion to the light rail project through Randwick and the city but was not prepared to say where the money was going to come from - or which transport projects were going to suffer in order to fund it.

Ms Berejiklian has been told by Treasury to "reprioritise" capital funding from the transport budget to come up with the money.

But when quizzed on which projects would be put on the backburner or delayed, she would only say that an answer would be given in the state budget later this year.

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