Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Westconnex Lemon - The sunken road sinking

In October last year I described the Westconnex as a “$10 billion lemon”.

I also observed in February this year that the O’Farrell Liberal government is a "lazy government that does not have the intellectual ability to govern NSW or solve the serious infrastructure problems that this state has."

As a Labor frontbencher my comments were dismissed as “sour grapes”.

Now, this week, the Sydney Morning Herald’s respected Transport Reporter, Jacob Saulwick in his article “Sunken Highway plan hits roadblock” proves my point.

With great media fanfare, Premier O’Farrell announced Westconnex in October last year. Westconnex was the solution to Sydney's major infrastructure backlog he claimed.

Westconnex was the answer to Sydney’s traffic gridlock. It was the solution to address the chaos clogging Australia's major seaport and airport.

PLUS he said the sunken motorway would create boulevards to rival those in Paris or Barcelona.

Westconnex – all problems solved.

In the latest embarrassment to the intellectually challenged O’Farrell Liberal government, the boulevard reminiscent of Paris or Barcelona has been shelved.

According to Jacob Saulwick’s article, it would be too expensive to build the boulevard because “the government would have had to buy up and tear down large amounts of property for about five kilometres on either side of Parramatta Road west of Taverners Hill, near Petersham.”

“It would also,” he added, “have to remove utilities, such as water and sewerage underneath Parramatta Road, and spend years managing the traffic during construction. The extra costs would outweigh any price benefit from cutting a motorway in the ground rather than drilling a tunnel.”

Does anyone think this government would have actually known what it was doing when it committed to this project? These people were in opposition for 16 years might you think that they had some plan?

After two years in government, they have done nothing in relation to easing congestion other than drawing a Westconnex line on a map.

No modeling, no costing, no planning and no consultation.

At some point the community will work Barry O'Farrell out. The O’Farrell government is not about governing, finding workable solutions, and providing leadership to our state. It is all about just presiding, releasing press releases and promising the blue out of the sky. The people of New South Wales were expecting real change two years ago.

Sadly, like the Westconnex, all they got was a lemon.

No comments:

Post a Comment