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Thursday, 15 October 2015
Page: 7770


Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate, Minister for Communications, Minister for the Arts and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Government) (12:05): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator FIFIELD: The WestConnex project is one of the largest transport infrastructure projects in Australia. This project will improve travel times, create 10,000 jobs during construction, boost economic activity in Western Sydney and help breathe new life into Parramatta Road businesses and residential corridor. WestConnex is expected to deliver $20 billion worth of economic benefits to the New South Wales economy and will help stimulate local economies. The New South Wales government announced on 7 May that any non-commercial in-confidence data from the business case will be released by the government—expected to be later this year.

For each stage of WestConnex, an EIS will be prepared, taking into consideration environmental and community concerns. The committee, including residents and local businesses, will be able to express their views throughout these processes. The M4 East EIS is publicly on public display for comment until 2 November 2015. The new M5 EIS process is expected to commence in late 2015. This is an important project. It will deliver significant economic and productivity benefits.