Building Westconnex: Why Labor Still Doesn’t Get It

 Long suffering western Sydney motorists will have to wait another six years for chronic road congestion to be eased under the Federal Government’s deceptive plans, Member for Baulkham Hills David Elliott said today.

 The Gillard Government’s recent federal budget promised $1.8 billion funding for the $10 billion WestConnex motorway network, but it was a slap in the face to motorists because it will hold most of the cash back until 2019 – six years from now.

 “The Prime Minister promised “billions” for WestConnex. The reality is that they have delivered just $200m for the project between now and 2017,” Mr Elliott said.

 “In contrast, Tony Abbott has promised $1.5 billion to be delivered by 2017.

 “The NSW Government is proceeding immediately with work on the 33km project, with or without the help of Federal Labor.

 “This makes the choice in September clear for people in Western Sydney.  Elect Tony Abbott and together the State and Federal Coalitions will deliver WestConnex.

 “WestConnex is Australia’s biggest road project, generating tens of thousands of jobs for people of western Sydney.

 “It will ease congestion, create jobs and connect communities across greater western Sydney like never before.

 “Sydneysiders want work to begin as soon as possible on this life changing project. The Gillard Government wants them to wait.”

 “My message to Canberra is think again. Western Sydney deserves this world class infrastructure as soon as possible.”

 “Like their state Labor colleagues, federal Labor thinks they can take western Sydney for granted.

 “Despite more than 90 per cent of daily transport usage in Sydney being by car, Labor did nothing in its 16 years to reduce congestion on western Sydney’s roads.

 “The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is trying to fix the mess by rebuilding Sydney’s road network, after years of appalling neglect.

 “But the conditions placed on WestConnex, in exchange for the Federal Government’s modest funding contribution, would add $5-$8 billion to the cost of the overall project.

 “It is kindergarten economics that doesn’t add up.

 ”This is Australia’s biggest road project and it will need tolling reintroduced to ensure the project is actually built,” Mr Elliott said.

 “We have said from the start, tolls will need to be reintroduced on significantly upgraded or new roads.

 “State Labor leader John Robertson should understand that nowhere in the modern world, only in fairy land, is this scale of project, Australia’s biggest road project, possible without tolls.

 “It’s further proof, as if Western Sydney needed any more proof, that there are no circumstances under which Labor could get this project up and running.

 “Just the history of the M4 East which the Carr Government promised in July 2002 is enough to remind Western Sydney these are people who don’t deliver.

 “We understand Sydney and we understand the frustration out there.

 “Labor should get out of the way and let the NSW Government fix the roads mess State Labor created,” Mr Elliott said.