Mar 5, 2013

O’Farrell Government Caught Out On Road to Nowhere

NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay’s claim that the O’Farrell Government has not been able to access the $25 million set aside in last year’s Federal Budget to assist in planning the upgrade of Sydney’s motorway network is untrue.

This latest audacious falsehood simply shows they are more interested in playing politics than finding workable solutions to Sydney’s long term infrastructure challenges.

Here are the facts.

Firstly, I wrote to the O’Farrell Government on 26 October 2012, 17 January 2013, and yet again on 6 February 2013 confirming that our funding is available.

It’s extraordinary that they haven’t got their act together to provide a final project proposal request, which is a simple requirement for the transfer of funds from the Federal to State Governments for any infrastructure project.

In fact only last week Mr Gay acknowledged and welcomed our funding commitment, telling the NSW Parliament:

So far the Federal Labor Government has committed $25 million to planning for the project (Westconnex) – and we thank it for that.

HANSARD – 26 FEBRUARY 2013

Secondly, the O’Farrell Government’s current Westconnex proposal does not provide the direct links needed to take people into the city and freight to the Port – the two goals it was supposed to achieve.

That’s why we’ve made further Federal funding conditional on these deficiencies being fixed.  Even Tony Abbott – a politician not known for his bipartisanship – has backed our position:

“The WestConnex project is still evolving, but we’ll ensure there’s an expressway-standard road from the west to the city as part of our commitment.  It has to be in there.”

DAILY TELEGRAPH – 5 MARCH 2013

The political games should now stop and we should begin working together in the interest of all Sydneysiders.