Laurie Ferguson MP writes to the Premier re Campbelltown Road

The Federal Member for Werriwa, Laurie Ferguson MP, has written to the Premier of NSW, The Hon Barry O’Farrell, to express his concerns regarding the issue of Campbelltown Road and the proposals to widen it.

Laurie Ferguson raised issues relating to the utility of the proposal and the impact on an historic, still idyllic part of Sydney. Reference has also been made to the historic sites within Denham Court and the role the road plays in the history of Colonial Campbelltown. The issue of the threat to the grove of trees forming an avenue entrance to Campbelltown and the undermining of the historic Bardia precinct was noted.

The Member for Werriwa informed the Premier that he was unaware of a public call for Campbelltown Road to be widened.

RMS Stops Returning Calls from Member for Macquarie Fields.

Breaking News: Monday 26 August 2013

In a sign of how controversial the planned expansion of Campbelltown Road Denham Court has become, the RMS (Roads & Maritime Services) has ceased to return calls from the Member for Macquarie Fields, Dr Andrew McDonald.

The road that locals are calling the “Highway to Nowhere” has become such a political “Hot Potato” that even the local Member for Parliament can’t obtain answers from the RMS. This week a spokesperson from the office of Dr Andrew McDonald, Member for Macquarie Fields confirmed that calls from Dr McDonald’s office to the RMS in regard to the matter of Campbelltown Road are not being returned.

Dr McDonald has been an outspoken advocate for the local Community on the issue of the widening of Campbelltown Road, questioning the need for the high cost expansion that the Community has opposed after the RMS was found to have failed to notify the Community in time for residents to have attended at least 2 out of the 4 planned information sessions. As the NSW State Member for Macquarie Fields, Dr McDonald has raised a number of questions in Parliament regarding the proposed expansion of Campbelltown Road.

The cessation of communication from the RMS comes after a private traffic survey firm was sighted with survey equipment on Campbelltown Road late at night in an operation deemed by some to be “under cover of darkness”. Local residents have questioned the traffic data the RMS claims justifies the expansion. After spending $3 million on developing the proposal it would appear that the RMS is now gathering traffic data. In circumstances where the proposal will cost around $200 million to implement it is considered that accurate data should have been collected prior to spending $3 million of taxpayers’ money on a proposal that the Community says is unjustifiable and unwanted.

The proposal may have an effect on the Federal Government election results after mainstream TV news reported that voters are increasingly voting on local issues when choosing who to elect as their Federal Member of Parliament on 7 September.

$200 Million for a Highway that the Community doesn’t want or need.

Breaking News: Wednesday 31 July 2013

The NSW Government Minister for Transport has allocated $2 million in the 2013 – 2014 budget to the Campbelltown Road, Camden Valley Way to Denham Court “Upgrade” and spent $3 million in 2012 – 2013 on the same “Upgrade” – the highway that the Community doesn’t want (or need).

On Tuesday 30 July 2013, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian (Minister for Transport) responded to questioning from the Member for Macquarie Fields, Dr Andrew McDonald on the issue of the proposed widening of Campbelltown Road at Denham Court, the “upgrade” that the Community is objecting to.  Dr McDonald was informed that the total strategic cost estimate for this proposal is approximately $200 million (in 2012 dollars). Further, this cost will be updated to align with the scope for the project identified in the REF (Review of Environmental Factors).

The Minister informed Dr McDonald that the first stage of the project is due to start in 2014.

Dr McDonald asked the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, and Minister Assisting the Premier on Infrastructure NSW, Leader of the House, The Hon. Brad Hazzard, MP, whether the release of East Leppington as urban development and the rezoning of the surrounding area, specifically stages 1A-1F, required the planned “upgrade” of Campbelltown Road, Denham Court to proceed. The response from the Minister was brief but definite – “NO”.

Why is this significant?

The response Dr McDonald has received from the Government contrasts with the information provided to the Community during the RMS information period.

In addition, the response indicates how quickly plans to commence the project are being put into place (despite the Community’s objections) when as recently as the information period (which closed on 5 July 2013) the RMS informed residents it had “no plans” (or funding) to implement the proposal.  Residents raised doubts about this assertion by the RMS and indicated they thought it likely the project was planned for sooner rather than later.  The speed with which plans are being put in place raises concerns for residents South of the Denham Court Road intersection who, similarly, are being told “Roads and Maritime Services currently has no plans to extend the widening of Campbelltown Road south of Denham Court Road”.  This follows similar statements about widening Denham Court Road despite evidence being presented at the Campbelltown City Council Community Information Evening that Denham Court Road is intended to be widened.

Residents were informed that the Campbelltown Road widening was necessary because of the development of the East Leppington precinct and associated additional traffic that those developments would generate. Residents questioned the logic of this given that East Leppington residents will have a rail transport hub and community facilities in their own locale as well as a closer and more direct vehicular transport route available via Camden Valley Way.  These areas were supposed to have been designed with “lifestyle amenities” in mind, to minimise travel necessary for their residents, with a focus on limiting reliance on pollution generating vehicles and with better public transport availability.  These were supposed to be the “sustainable” developments of the future, for which purchasers would pay premium prices of around $300,000 for blocks as “large” as 550m2. The RMS assured residents that widening Campbelltown Road was a necessity, despite flaws in their logic being pointed out by local residents.

Minister Hazzard has now confirmed what local residents told the RMS:

The planned upgrade of Campbelltown Road, Denham Court is not required for any of the stages 1A-1F of the East Leppington development to proceed.

In summary, the first stage of the project is due to start in 2014 and the upgrade will cost $200 million (more when this is recalculated to 2014 dollars) for a road that the responsible Minister admits is NOT needed and the Community DOESN’T want.

● To see the full text of Dr McDonald’s Parliamentary Questions 4247 & 4248 and the Government Ministers’ Answers click here.

To have your say:
email The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, MP, Minister for Transport.
OR email The Hon. Brad Hazzard, MP, Minister for Planning and Infrastructure.

RMS Extends Comment Period – TO FRIDAY 5 JULY 2013

Breaking News: Friday 28 June 2013 5:17pm EST

At 5:17pm Friday 28 June 2013 the DCA was advised the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has extended the comment period for the proposal until Friday 5 July 2013.  The reason provided by the RMS  for this late change is that “community members requested more time to assess recent material presented at the community forum held on 24 June” by Campbelltown City Council.

The RMS has advised that:

Further information on the proposal, including the latest material (posters and traffic modelling information) from the community forum, can be found at www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roadprojects/projects/sydney_region/south_west_sydney/campbelltown_rd/index.html

Submissions in the form of written comments should be made to:

Email comments to: CampbelltownRoadUpgrade@rms.nsw.gov.au

Mail comments to:
Campbelltown Road upgrade project team
Infrastructure Development
Roads and Maritime Services
PO Box 973
Parramatta NSW 2124

Fax comments to: (02) 8849 2817

Any further questions, can be addressed to the team at campbelltownroadupgrade@rms.nsw.gov.au

The Denham Court Association (DCA) encourages all residents, affected and interested parties to make personal submissions at their earliest opportunity detailing their views on the proposed expansion of Campbelltown Road.