Monday, 8 February 2016
Questions without Notice
Great Western Highway
My question is to the Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects. Minister, the community of the Blue Mountains were recently invited to have their say on four possible options for the $5 million safety upgrade of the Great Western Highway intersection at Ross Street, Glenbrook. Could you please provide an update on the upgrade of this vital intersection?
I thank the member for Macquarie for this question. The member for Macquarie is closely engaged with the issues of concern to her electorate when it comes to infrastructure. She, in particular, has been working very hard on the question of the Ross Street intersection. Indeed, I was pleased to visit her electorate in December, last year, to inspect the site of the proposed intersection with the member and officials of New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services. This is an important project for the electorate of Macquarie. It forms part of the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan.
This is the Turnbull government working together with the Baird government, the Commonwealth government working together with the New South Wales government to build infrastructure that will meet the needs of Western Sydney, that will boost economic activity in Western Sydney—an area where the population is expected to rise from two million to three million over the next 20 years. So it is very important that we are boosting transport links, that we are taking steps to respond to congestion to ensure that people can move about freely and to ensure that people can get to work and get home from work as quickly as possible, that freight moves about efficiently and, of course, that our roads are as safe as possible.
These are issues that the member for Macquarie has been assiduous and energetic in pursuing, and she was assiduous and energetic in encouraging me to come to her electorate to visit the site of the Ross Street intersection. This is going to be funded with $2.5 million from the Turnbull government and $2.5 million from the Baird government as the two governments work, together, very closely. It is this kind of local responsiveness to the needs of communities that is very important if our infrastructure is to do what we all want it to do.
There are four options that have been on display, for community comment, between 4 November and 11 December. It is now a case of the Blue Mountains City Council and New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services working together to assess the feedback, that has been received, to develop the design and the business case. I am confident that the Ross Street intersection will be safer, will meet the needs of the local community better and the member for Macquarie can take, I think, significant credit for her work in securing this outcome as part of a local roads package within the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan.