Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
$1.25 billion Western Sydney Orbital under way.

Download PDFDownload PDF

Home Media Centre   Media Releases   Subscribe   Speeches   Media Links Ministers Department Search Index Help

4 January 2001


John Anderson Acting Prime Minister Federal Minister for Transport and Regional Services

Carl Scully

NSW Minister for Transport NSW Minister for Roads


Sydney motorists could save up to an hour in travel time on the proposed Western Sydney Orbital Road by 2007, following the release of federal funding details and an Environmental Impact Statement today.

In a major win for the residents and businesses of western Sydney, the Federal Government has allocated $350 million towards construction of the 39 km National Highway project.

The remainder of the $1.25 billion cost of the project will be provided by the private sector, financed by a road user toll.

The Acting Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, and the NSW Minister for Transport and Roads, Carl Scully, jointly issued the EIS for the motorway.

The EIS was prepared by the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority as part of its responsibilities as project manager for the Federal Government.

The divided dual carriageway motorway will stretch from the Hume Highway south of Sydney to Pennant Hills Rd and the F3 Freeway to the north, linking the M5, M4 and M2 motorways and acting as the east coast’s main freight route.

Mr Anderson said the Federal Government would also give high priority to establishing a new link from the M2 to the F3 to relieve traffic pressures on Pennant Hills Road and complete the National Highway ring-road around Sydney.

“The Western Sydney Orbital is a vital link in the National Highway network,” Mr Anderson said.

“The new link will provide a safer and more efficient route for heavy vehicles travelling through Sydney, as well as providing improved access to the Sydney Orbital motorway network, Port Botany and Sydney airport for freight and rural produce.”

Mr Scully welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to the project, which will be the biggest road project in Australia when construction commences.

“This is the single most important post-Olympic construction project in western Sydney and will create up to 1200 direct jobs during construction,” Mr Scully said.

“It will also create thousands of indirect jobs by improving access and reducing costs for businesses in Western Sydney.

“The Orbital will both provide traffic relief for motorists and remove heavy vehicle traffic from local roads.

“It will bypass up to 56 sets of traffic lights between Liverpool and Pennant Hills, and will save

commuters and freight vehicles up to an hour time travelling across Sydney.”

Mr Anderson said the funding package included $300 million from the National Highway budget over six years towards construction, in addition to $56 million already spent on planning and land acquisition.

"The Federal Government has agreed on a toll to help finance the project to enable the road to be constructed in a time frame acceptable to the motoring public," Mr Anderson said.

“This will bring forward the economic benefits to the whole nation, not just Western Sydney.

"The Federal Government's decision to toll the National Highway was taken only after careful consideration of all the issues and alternatives. The Federal Government will only consider tolling the National Highway in the future on a case by case basis, not as a matter of course.”

While the level of the tolls has yet to be determined, it is proposed to cap the toll for vehicles travelling the entire 39 kilometre route at an expected $4 - $5, a rate comparable to tolls charged elsewhere in the Sydney area.

However, most motorists will use only part of the Orbital on a typical journey, which means they will pay less than the maximum rate.

Mr Anderson invited the community to view and comment on the EIS, which is on display from Monday 8 January until Monday 5 March 2001 at locations throughout western Sydney, including Blacktown, Fairfield, Liverpool and Baulkham Hills Councils.

Subject to the determination of the EIS, construction of the Western Sydney Orbital is expected to commence in 2002, and to be opened to traffic in 2007.

Media Contacts:

Robyn Bain, Mr Anderson’s office: (02) 6277 7680 / (0408) 027 839 Jodie Brough, Mr Scully’s office: (02) 9228 4455 / (0411) 020 292



Extent of work:

The Western Sydney Orbital (WSO) will form the National Highway link through Sydney, joining the Hume Highway to the South and Pennant Hills Rd/F3 freeway to the North of Sydney.


The WSO will also join the three existing motorways in Western Sydney- the M5, M4 and M2. ●


39 kilometres divided dual carriageway. ●

Travel time savings in 2006 (on opening of the WSO):

Liverpool to Pennant Hills: 67 minutes ●

Liverpool to Wentworthville: 33 minutes ●

Liverpool to Eastern Creek: 16 minutes ●

Avoids up to 56 sets of traffic lights. ●

Truck cost saving (eg. Fuel, time, vehicle wear for full trip on the WSO):

At least $25 each way. ●


15 interchanges (including connections at both ends). ●

Major interchanges include:

Cowpasture Road, Hinchinbrook. ●

The Horsley Drive, Horsley Park. ●

Richmond Road, Dean Park. ●

Elizabeth Drive, Cecil Park. ●

M4 Motorway, Eastern Creek. ●

Sunnyholt Road, Kings Langley. ●

Estimated Cost ($2000):

$1.25 billion. ●

The Commonwealth will provide $300 million (in addition to $56 million spent to date). ●

The balance of the cost will be provided by the private sector, financed by a toll on road users (except cyclists). ●


Final toll yet to be determined- indicative toll examined is approximately $0.25 per kilometre, with a toll cap of $4-$5. ●

The WSO will be electronically tolled. ●


1,200 direct jobs created by construction. ●

Major benefits include:

Improve travel time and safety, especially for freight. ●

Less traffic on major roads through western Sydney. ●

Less traffic on local roads and improved amenity. ●

Encourage development of western Sydney employment centres. ●

Create employment opportunities in western Sydney. ●

Improve the National Highway Link through Sydney. ●

Top of Page

Please direct general design and content comments to: For technical comments, please email:

© Commonwealth of Australia 2000 Last updated:  Friday, 05 January 2001