Rail gets the nod over Northern Beaches and Western Harbour tunnels in NSW Opposition transport plan
The NSW Opposition launched its pre-election transport plan last week, promising to prioritise public transport over toll roads by re-allocating funding from existing projects into a $13.5 billion public transport acceleration fund.
Labor’s priorities include the Western Metro fast train between Parramatta and Sydney’s CBD by the mid-2020s, as well as improving public transport services in Sydney’s South.
The Opposition says it will accelerate construction of the Western Metro by re-allocating funds from the Northern Beaches and Western Harbour tunnels and conversion of the Sydenham-Bankstown line to metro.
It says it will also:
- proceed with the M12, a toll free motorway to the new Western Sydney Airport;
- proceed with the toll-free Sydney Gateway, but will also establish a taskforce to get the Gateway to Port Botany; and
- proceed with the M4-M5 tunnel (WestConnex Stage 3A) and the Rozelle Interchange (WestConnex Stage 3B).
The Opposition says with the Sydney Motorway Corporation privatised and construction contracts signed, the M4-M5 tunnel is ‘now past the point of no return’. And while the Rozelle Interchange will also proceed, it would be subject to a design review.
Citing Infrastructure Australia, it says the Western Harbour and Northern Beaches tunnels are a longer term priority (10-15 years) and can be considered in the future once the Sydney Metro and Western Metro have been delivered.
Transport ministers back a more collaborative approach to contracting
Transport ministers have endorsed a set of ‘high-level principles’ that put a more collaborative approach to procurement, project management and risk allocation squarely on state agendas.
At last week’s 10th Transport and Infrastructure Council (TIC) meeting in Sydney, the Ministers also undertook to report back in 12 months on actions taken by their jurisdictions to support the high-level principles.
A key briefing session of the meeting was attended by representatives of industry associations, including Roads Australia’s CEO, Michael Kilgariff.
Ministers at the meeting discussed their governments’ significant infrastructure programs and how best to support capacity in the construction industry – including the benefits of greater market participation from Tier 2 and Tier 3 contractors.
They also acknowledged issues raised by industry, including the importance of developing market capacity, improving procurement processes and adopting more market-responsive approaches to risk allocation, and improving skills and training.
The meeting endorsed a set of high-level principles and gave a commitment to work with industry to foster the sustainable development of the sector, with a focus on initiatives attracting and retaining women in trades and leadership roles within the sector.
The principles supported by ministers were:
- Collaborative-based approaches to procurement, project management and risk allocation promotes safer and more productive delivery.
Undertaking best practice on bidding, contracting and procurement streamlines processes and reduces costs.
- Rewarding safety performance as well as improvements in security and timeliness of contract payments builds industry confidence and accountability.
- Publication of the pipeline of projects stimulates industry preparedness and increases competition in bidders.
- Joined up approaches for development and delivery of training maximises workforce participation.
- Industry diversity, including greater female participation in the workforce, improves results.
- Packaging procurement activities to match market appetite and capabilities.
Agreement was also reached at the TIC on the establishment of a working group to progress the recommendations of the independent Inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy.
Read the full communique here.