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Monday, 26 March 2001
Page: 25672

Mrs Crosio asked the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 12 October 2000:

(1) Does the Government support the proposal for the Sydney West Orbital.

(2) Did the Minister recently meet with the Sydney West Orbital Taskforce in Canberra.

(3) Is he aware of reports that the population of Western Sydney, which will benefit the most by the construction of the orbital, will grow from 1.2 million to 1.4 million, an increase of over 266,000 over the next twenty years.

(4) Is he aware that by the year 2006, 55,000 tonnes of freight will be moved along the route proposed for the West Sydney Orbital and that this is a 40 per cent increase over 1996.

(5) What consideration, if any, has the Government given to the immediate start of construction on the Sydney West Orbital.

(6) Has land been acquired by the Government to be used for the construction of the orbital.

(7) Will the Government use any funds from the recent increase in petrol excise to allocate funds towards the building of the Sydney West Orbital.

(8) Has the Government considered a full cost analysis of the Sydney West Orbital.

(9) Is he able to say whether the Government will make a decision on the Sydney West Orbital by 31 December 2000.

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

(1) The Federal Government supports the construction of the Western Sydney Orbital.

(2) Yes.

(3) I am aware the current population of Western Sydney is 1.2 million, based on current Australian Bureau of Statistics figures. The NSW Department of State and Regional Development expects the population in western Sydney to increase by approximately 20 percent over the next 20 years, based on current population projections.

(4) Yes.

(5) Construction can only start when all the planning and environmental clearance processes have been satisfactorily completed.

(6) The Commonwealth has been working with NSW since the mid-1990s on the development of a route for the Sydney West Orbital. To date $56m has been provided mainly for land acquisition to ensure the route was not lost to urban and industrial development.

(7) No. Fuel excise is general revenue and is not allocated to specific programmes or projects.

(8) Yes.

(9) The Government made the announcement for the Sydney West Orbital on 4 January 2000.