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Monday, 25 June 2001
Page: 28544


Mr Martin Ferguson asked the Minister Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 3 April 2001:

(1) What sum has been spent by the Commonwealth Government in association with the NSW Government in the Route Selection Study for the Murrumbateman Bypass, and how has this been expended.

(2) With respect to the Connell Wagner Pty Ltd draft Preferred Route Selection Report (October 2000) recommending the East Outer route as the preferred option, did the Director, Road Network Infrastructure, NSW Roads and Traffic Authority claim in a letter of 21 January 2001 to his Department that a copy of the Draft Report had been made available to the Member for Hume; if so, did he, or his office or his Department make the draft report available to Mr Schultz.

(3) If Mr Schultz has a copy of the Draft Report, why did his Department argue in its letter of 11 January 2001 to the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority that it appreciated that the current draft was a semi-public document but it did not believe that it was a suitable basis for public comment in its current form.

(4) In his letter of January 2001, did the Director, Road Network Infrastructure, NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, request his Department to provide substantive information on its criticism of the Connell Wagner Pty Ltd draft Preferred Route Selection Report (October 2000), including (a) specific detail where the consultants ratings were in error, (b) advice on what relevant issues had not been explored thoroughly and (c) criteria of specific importance to his Department; if so what is his Department's response to the questions.


Mr Anderson (Minister for Transport and Regional Services) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Roads and Traffic Authority has advised that it has paid approximately $140,000 to Connell Wagner for work in relation to the Route Selection Study. These funds are sourced from the Federal Government's National Highway system funding.

(2) My office made a copy of the Draft Report available to Mr Schultz.

(3) My Department has advised me that this was, and continues to be, its view.

(4) These issues were discussed between my Department, the Roads and Traffic Authority and Connell Wagner Pty Ltd, and taken into account in the Route Selection Report, which was released on 1 May 2001 for public comment up to 14 June 2001.