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Wednesday, 16 March 1977
Page: 302

Mr WENTWORTH (Mackellar) - I want to draw the attention of the House to something that the New South Wales Government is proposing to do and the disastrous consequences it could have for the city of Sydney. During the term of office of the Liberal Government in New South Wales, it laboriously put together a series of corridors which could be the arteries for the future traffic of Sydney. These apparently are to be sold by the State Government which intends by so doing to make it impossible for Sydney ever to be a well trafficked city. I know that there is always some kind of move against freeways and to some extent there can be an exacerbation of the freeway idea; but in general the freeway environmentally is the only way to save a city and to keep the traffic off the suburban roads and shopping roads on which the commercial life depends. Wantonly to disrupt these plans is quite appalling and one of the worst things that even the present New South Wales Government has contemplated. I refer particularly to those plans which affect my own electorate- the Warringah Expressway and the link between the Warringah Expressway and the Epping Road- but also we are affected by the north-western expressway because only by that expressway can the peak hour jams on the Sydney Harbour Bridge be obviated. The abandonment of the north-western expressway means that traffic through Mosman- not in my electorate- will be permanently a worry to the people of Mosman. It means that the people of my electorate will find their whole traffic future jeopardised.

It is the stupidity of this proposal which worries me. Of course we want to keep motor cars out of the city, but the freeways that are contemplated are designed to do just that- to bypass the city. Sydney has no cross-city road to the east of the Bridge and obviously, because of the geography, there can be no bypass of Sydney to the east. So there has to be a bypass of Sydney over the Bridge. To have abandoned the western distributor and its extension to Mascot, to have abandoned the idea of the Parramatta Roadthe old main road, the main Sydney artery- is absolutely outrageous. It is stupid. As I have said, these corridors were put together with great skill and at some expense by the previous State Liberal Government. The Wran Government, which does not understand transport, is endeavouring to get everything back on public transport. To some extent I have sympathy with this view. But the Government has not understood its own principles because its own principles must involve keeping cars out of the centre of the city and preventing the car caused smog which hangs over centres of cities like Sydney and Melbourne and which must hang over every major city. I protest against the wanton stupidity of what the Wran Government is doing in trying to murder our embryo freeway system in Sydney.

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