Biggest transport project in Australia to begin

19 September 2013

Biggest transport project in Australia to begin

The NSW Government today lodged the initial planning application for the WestConnex motorway, after approving the business case showing the project will deliver major benefits for the NSW economy and the motorists of Western Sydney.

The NSW Government confirmed the $11.5 billion project will be built in three stages with the M4 widening to start first and be completed in 2017.

WestConnex is the largest infrastructure project in Australia, linking western and south Western Sydney with the city, airport and port in a 33 km continuous motorway.

NSW Premier and Minister for Western Sydney Barry O’Farrell said WestConnex would ease congestion, deliver liveable and connected communities and create jobs across Sydney.

“WestConnex is a game-changer for Sydney – it will save motorists time by making travel between Sydney’s west and the east easier,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“This delivers on our election commitment and means relief is now in sight for Western Sydney motorists.

“WestConnex will help motorists avoid up to 52 sets of traffic lights, creating a saving of 40 minutes on a trip from Parramatta to Sydney Airport and halving the travel time from Parramatta to the CBD to 25 minutes.

“WestConnex will inject $20 billion into the NSW economy including 10,000 construction jobs and hundreds of apprenticeships for young people.

“Our commitment to WestConnex, and our major public transport infrastructure projects like the North West and South West Rail Links, and light rail, shows we’re serious about transforming Sydney for the better.”

Mr Gay said WestConnex will remove up to 3,000 trucks a day from Parramatta Road and put them in underground tunnels, returning the surface roads and land uses to local communities.

“This will enable urban revitalisation to occur along the 20 km long corridor between Broadway and Parramatta, creating new jobs, stimulating productivity and delivering new homes in this key growth area of Sydney,” Mr Gay said.

“This is similar to the revitalisation of Surry Hills and parts of Redfern following the construction of the Eastern Distributor.

“I’m delighted the next step in delivering this project happens today with the lodging of the planning application with the Department of Planning & Infrastructure for an environmental assessment of Stage 1,” he said.
“The next stage of the project will also involve consultation with industry to explore innovative financing and engineering solutions. The first industry session will occur this week.

“This industry engagement approach will build on the success of the North West Rail Link consultation, and will ensure a value-for-money solution for motorists and taxpayers.”

The NSW Government is providing $1.8 billion for WestConnex while the new Australian Government has committed $1.5 billion over four years.

The WestConnex Business Case was developed by a team of local and international infrastructure, urban planning and finance experts from across the public and private sectors.

Stage 1 will include a widened M4 to four lanes in each direction from Church Street, Parramatta to Homebush Bay Drive, Homebush and an extension of the M4 via twin 3 lane tunnels under the Parramatta Road corridor to Parramatta Road and City West Link, Haberfield.


As previously announced, tolling will be required to fund the bulk of this critical missing link in Sydney's road network.

While exact tolling details will not be confirmed until construction starts, it is likely the minimum toll will be $1.50 and the maximum about $3.90 (2013 dollars) on the initial M4 widened section.

The average motorist will pay about $3.00 (2013 dollars) for this section, making it one of the cheapest tolls in Sydney, and lower than the average for the M2, Cross City Tunnel, M7, and M5.

Tolling will be distance based and capped, like Westlink M7, ensuring long-distance travellers are not penalised. Motorists will incur a minimum charge.

Key facts

  • Up to 52 sets of traffic lights can be bypassed
  • 40 minutes will be saved on a typical trip from Parramatta to Sydney Airport
  • 10 kilometres of bus lanes will be created on Parramatta Road, almost halving travel times from the inner-west to the city
  • 3,000 trucks a day will be taken off Parramatta Road and put in tunnels
  • 10,000 construction jobs will be created, including hundreds of apprenticeships
  • More than $20 billion in economic benefits to NSW
  • More reliable trips will be created for people, businesses and freight, increasing productivity and contributing to Sydney's GDP.

MEDIA: Cameron Hamilton or Mark Tobin (Premier) 9228 5239
Lance Northey (Minister) 0467 743 192

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