Sydney's long-mooted north west rail link is to be fast-tracked - one of a number of actions taken by the new NSW government in the last few days.

Premier Barry O'Farrell has appointed a project team to fast-track the rail link, originally projected to be completed in 2017. O'Farrell has promised that construction will begin before the next state election, and that details about the cost and route of the line will be released by the end of the year.

The government has also confirmed that it will offer a two-year stamp duty exemption to over 55s who move into a new home between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2012. According to advice from Gadens Lawyers, the exemption will apply to new home purchases and off-the-plan purchases made in connection with a relocation of residence by people over 55.

It also pledged to axe the Torrens assurance levy, a levy currently imposed on property transfers above $500,000. The levy was calculated at 0.2% for transfers between $500,000 and $1m, and at 0.25% for properties above $1m. The abolition of the levy is set to come into effect from July 2011.