Wednesday, 18 March 2015
That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, no later than 4 pm on Wednesday, 25 March 2015, the following documents relating to the WestConnex road project in New South Wales not previously provided to the Senate, including but not limited to:
(a) any agreements or Memorandum of Understanding detailing the milestones and requirements that New South Wales must meet, tied to the Commonwealth funding commitment;
(b) traffic modelling forecasts, including alternative public transport options available, and the resultant effects on inner Sydney congestion and transport connections;
(c) routes under consideration, or previously under consideration, including tunnel exit and entry points;
(d) exhaust stack chimney locations and air pollution forecasts;
(e) modelling of proposed tolls and predicted costs per trip; and
(f) construction cost estimates.
The government opposes this motion. WestConnex is a critical project for Sydney that will provide much needed congestion relief for commuters, deliver an estimated $20 billion of economic benefits to New South Wales and create 10,000 jobs during construction. The Australian and New South Wales governments are absolutely committed to building this project. Construction has already started on the first section which involves widening the M4 between Church Street and Homebush Bay Drive. This will cut morning east-bound travel times along this section by up to 74 per cent from 19 minutes down to five. Once completed WestConnex will increase capacity and slash travel times from Western Sydney and south-western Sydney to the CBD, airport and Port Botany. It will also enable the urban renewal of Parramatta Road.
Extensive information on the project and its benefits are widely available to the public, including the summary business case, two environmental impact statements and Infrastructure Australia's assessment of the project. The assessment process for each section of WestConnex can be viewed on the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment website, and any concerns relating to potential community impacts can continue to be expressed through the environmental impact statement processes.
Question agreed to.