(Ed: This is Part 2 of Transport Economist Lyall Kennedy’s submission to the EIS. Kennedy is a transport economist and ex Mayor of Ashfield Council. Part One is here)
What came first – WestConnex or the Strategic Plans
There is a requirement for the EIS that the proponent’s proposal is consistent with all Sydney’s strategic planning instruments. Requiring this project to be consistent with all strategic planning instruments sounds reasonable until you realise that all the plans were rewritten in 2012/2013 to place WestConnex at the centre of their transport strategies.
Up until 2012, metro strategy development in NSW was based on developing the broad strategy planning objectives and then discussing options to meet these strategic objectives before proposing individual projects/actions. Linking the M4 with the M5, as proposed by WestConnex, was never included as a project to realise previous Metropolitan Strategies.