$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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 − eight =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>