WestConnex will be built
11 December 2013
WestConnex will be built with or without the support of Labor Mayors
Roads Minister Duncan Gay today assured Western Sydney residents that the $11 billion Westconnex project would be built with or without the support of inner city Labor Mayors.
Mr Gay made the comment after an inner west Labor controlled Council said it would initiate a $20,000 campaign to stop Westconnex from proceeding.
“Westconnex will be built, Sydneysiders need it built and it will be, despite grumblings from Labor Mayors who want to play politics with the biggest roads project in Australia,” Mr Gay said.
“We want to work with local government and have already held more than 20 meetings with Councils in Western Sydney, including one where Planning Minister Brad Hazzard joined me.
"Separately we have held more than 40 information sessions with the community since September this year that were additional to face to face meetings, visits to properties, phone calls and correspondence.
"All up that's more than 60 meetings to engage with residents and stakeholders as we proceed with planning in the early stages of this flagship project.
“The Government has shown with its clearways strategy that it can work successfully with local councils that have an open mind about improving Sydney’s road network.
“We will continue to work with the professional officers on councils and the local community but we will not waste time on mayors who don't want to work with us.
“Those mayors that are considering wasting ratepayers’ money to fight Westconnex are also wasting their time and out of touch with every single Sydneysider who wants us to fix Parramatta Road.
"The only way to solve the issues surrounding Parramatta Road is with WestConnex - including the tunnel to be built under Parramatta Road that will take 3000 trucks a day out of their communities.
"It will also enable 10 kilometres of bus lanes to be built that would almost halve the travel time for those commuting between the inner west and the city.
"Along with heavy rail and the inner west light rail to the region, this is a package of public transport solutions to the area.
"The answer to Sydney’s congestion is not to put light rail down Parramatta Road as an alternative to WestConnex.
“Despite the political negativity of a couple of mayors, we will continue to work with those Western Sydney councils that want to ensure the best possible outcomes for WestConnex.
"Our priority is to address the real concerns of residents with direct communication and further information sessions that will run through to February.”
"Let there be no doubt, construction of Stage One of Westconnex will start in early 2015," Minister Gay said.
MEDIA: Lance Northey 0467 743 192 Marie Scoutas 0467 739 976
View the original media release (PDF)