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Monday, 6 December 1999
Page: 12910

Mr Mossfield asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 21 September 1999:

(1) Further to his answer to question No. 425 (Hansard , 11 May 1999, page 5101), has his attention been drawn to comments of Mr J. Bosnjak, Chairperson of the Greater Western Sydney Economic Development Board, on page 24 of the Monday, 16 September 1999 edition of the Daily Telegraph, regarding the building of the Western Sydney Orbital Road System.

(2) Are there plans to speed up the release of finances to complete the proposed orbital road.

(3) Would many of the present road users who would make use of the Orbital be diverted off the suburban roads presently in use.

(4) Does he or his Department have alternative plans to assist the road transport bottlenecks in the Western Sydney region.

Mr Anderson (Deputy Prime Minister) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) An article in the Daily Telegraph of Thursday 16 September 1999 referring to Mr Bosnjak's comments has been drawn to my attention.

(2) The Government proposes to construct the Western Sydney Orbital (WSO) when funds are available. No timetable on funding for construction has been set.

(3) On completion the WSO will provide a high standard through road between Liverpool and Hornsby and is intended to attract through traffic that currently uses existing routes. It will also serve a number of developing industrial and residential areas through which it will pass. However, it will not divert traffic that has an origin or destination in western Sydney serviced by the existing routes, which is the bulk of existing traffic.

(4) The Commonwealth Government has responsibility for the National Highway. The WSO will form the National Highway link through Sydney when it is constructed. Until that time the Cumberland Highway will continue to be the interim National Highway link and the Government has committed $21 million over the next two financial years for the completion of widening works on that link.

The other roads in western Sydney are the responsibility of the NSW Government and local councils. I note from the article in the Daily Telegraph that Mr Bosnjak has called on the NSW Government to deliver on the commitments outlined in its strategy, Action for Transport 2010.