At the December Council meeting I will be calling for more information on how the NSW Government’s Westconnex project will affect the community and, in particular, Sydney Park. At a recent briefing with Urban Growth staff Councillors were told that the construction of an interchange adjacent to Sydney Park would necessitate a 12 metre road widening along the Euston Road side of Sydney Park.
The Notice of Motion I will put to Council calls for a detailed briefing from City staff about the issues surrounding the Alexandria interchange. It also requests that the City conduct comparative analysis of the Westconnex project against investing the same amount of money into improving public transport. The Greens have always had a strong position on prioritising accessible public transport over the expansion of roads. No amount of investment in roads will alleviate Sydney’s congestion in the medium to long term. Roads Minister Duncan Gay has stated that 16 million extra people will live in Sydney over the next 20 years. To my mind this goes to show that building more roads is not a sustainable solution.
My Greens colleague Mehreen Faruqi has been a strong advocate for expanding Sydney’s public transport network. Her work has shown that the business case for the Westconnex simply doesn’t add up. Given the billions that have been committed to the project, modelling suggests that even if the motorway attracts 100 000 cars a day, everyday, the Government will be facing a $650M annual black hole.
I will continue to campaign for greater transparency on this project. With accurate information the community will be better able to consider the impacts of this project and bring their case to the Baird Government. You can see more of Mehreen’s work on the Westconnex here: http://www.mehreenfaruqi.org.au/westconnextolls/