Jan 13, 2017

Federal WestConnex funding all spent before route is even finalised

It has been revealed that the Federal Government’s grant funding for WestConnex has now been completely expended despite basic planning of the project including the route, interchanges and access points still not having been finalised.

In response to a parliamentary question on notice to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, in December, I have now received written confirmation that the entirety of the Government’s $1.5 billion grant to the NSW Government has been spent.

These federal funds have been forwarded and spent despite the NSW Minister for Roads, Duncan Gay, confirming earlier this month that there is still no final plan for how WestConnex will achieve its original objective of delivering commuters to Sydney Airport or freight to Port Botany.

This demonstrates once again why the WestConnex project has been so flawed – at every stage federal funding has been handed over before proper planning has been completed. That federal funding has now been fully expended.

 In another response to a parliamentary question on notice, the Federal Minister confirmed that the NSW Government has not requested any further funding.

 The Coalition’s approach to WestConnex is spend money now, ask questions later.

I have repeatedly raised with Minister Chester and his predecessors the shambolic planning processes and community concern about the impacts of this project. In spite of the Commonwealth’s contribution to the WestConnex project, the Federal Government has not addressed any of the practical issues which I have raised and therefore I have made direct representation to the State Government and Minister Gay in particular.

 Please find here a copy of Minister Chester’s response to my questions on notice.