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Sydney transport plan 'arse-about' - Greiner

<i>Illustration: Rocco Fazzari</i>

Illustration: Rocco Fazzari

THE O'Farrell government has been ''arse-about'' in releasing plans for transport ahead of its vision of where people in Sydney will live and work in the next 20 years, says the chairman of Infrastructure NSW, Nick Greiner.

Mr Greiner used a presentation on Tuesday to also talk about the lack of proposals to improve transport in western Sydney; to reveal that a deal to build the F3-to-M2 motorway was close; and to reiterate his scepticism about light rail in central Sydney and his support for a Badgerys Creek airport.

One of the weakness is there are not a lot of good ideas about western Sydney … Western Sydney is sort of the problem, it is where the population growth is. 

The O'Farrell government had intended to release its view on where development would concentrate in the next two decades at the same time as it outlined what transport projects it would build.

Nick Greiner ... "There's no point having Transport do its long-term masterplan".

Nick Greiner ... "There's no point having Transport do its long-term masterplan". Photo: Tamara Voninski

But the metropolitan strategy, developed under the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Brad Hazzard, has not yet been released. A transport masterplan and a state infrastructure strategy put together by Mr Greiner's Infrastructure NSW were unveiled last year.

''The land use plan should have come first,'' Mr Greiner told a seminar at the University of Sydney's Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies on Tuesday. ''There's no point having Transport do its long-term masterplan … if you haven't worked out where jobs are and where people are, and so on.

''So the metro plan was meant to happen along with our SIS [State Infrastructure Strategy] and the transport masterplan, and it didn't for whatever reason … so clearly that's a bit arse-about.''

In his address, Mr Greiner also lamented the lack of proposals for western Sydney. In particular, the O'Farrell government has no firm idea of how to make it easier for people to travel north to south in Sydney's west.

''One of the weaknesses is there are not a lot of good ideas about western Sydney … personal view,'' Mr Greiner said.

''The real question if you look out 10 to 20 years are north-south links. Western Sydney is sort of the problem, it is where the population growth is.''

From Mr Greiner's perspective, the catalyst for transport development in the city's west would be an airport at Badgerys Creek. Both sides of politics, however, remain officially attached to the ''crazy view'' an airport there is not appropriate.

In response to Mr Greiner's comments, Mr Hazzard said the Planning and Transport departments had been working together. ''Unlike Labor, we have set aside the silo mentality between agencies,'' Mr Hazzard said. ''What's pivotal now, and very different from the Labor government, is that growth and the economy are at the forefront across all portfolio decisions.''

When it is released, the metropolitan plan is expected to focus on promoting developments in ''infill'' areas of Sydney, rather than greenfield developments on the outskirts of Sydney.

The demand among property buyers has been to buy and invest in areas closer to established transport links. The metropolitan plan, to be released soon, is expected to follow this.

Mr Greiner said it was likely that a proposed tunnel to be built by Transurban under Pennant Hills Road linking the F3 motorway with the M2 would be under construction by the next election.

229 comments

  • Greiner is half right. The light rail is a joke, especially down George St, an M2/M7 to F3 connection is desperately needed, and the public transport plans of Big Barry is farcical. However, Greiners solutions are just as bad. Maybe he should have planned better when he was Premier.After all, he was the one that signed off on the 2 lane M2

    Commenter
    vitas
    Date and time
    February 06, 2013, 6:47AM
    • Let's hope, while Greiner is having epiphanies, that he realises that the F3 M2 link should be extended to the top of Silverwater Road, sometime in the future.

      Silverwater Rd runs from Southern Sydney, crossed the M5, M4, Parramatta Rd, Victoria Rd .... and then ends in nothing.

      It would be expensive, but otherwise logical, to at least PLAN to go that bit further.

      Commenter
      Bruce of Berowra
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      February 06, 2013, 7:19AM
    • Nobody thinks outside the box. The answer is simple: legislate the need for all to work from home at least twice a week. You will notice a significant change to our transportation issue and save governments billions.

      Commenter
      Best comment
      Date and time
      February 06, 2013, 7:22AM
    • Planning in NSW is so poor because so much of it is developer-driven, and what's good for a developer isn't necessarily good for NSW. Rather than encourage more commuting into Sydney CBD which is wasteful of time, energy and wellbeing, much better to encourage smaller centres of population which are still large enough to provide services and employment locally. That is assuming the state and the nation wants and needs (and can support) a much larger population. This is a debate that seems to be have been overlooked.

      Commenter
      Frazzle
      Date and time
      February 06, 2013, 7:38AM
    • Exactly what are Greiner's qualifications?

      Commenter
      luke
      Date and time
      February 06, 2013, 8:08AM
    • Yes, very helpful comment "best comment" (not). So, for example, if you work in a shop, you can do that from home 2 days a week?

      Commenter
      Pah
      Date and time
      February 06, 2013, 8:12AM
    • Why would any government spend millions of their taxpayer's money (not to mention the inconvenience it will cause) to replicate what already exists. The light rail proposal is essentially duplicating the underground heavy rail system. You just need to add 2 more stations.

      Commenter
      Query
      Date and time
      February 06, 2013, 8:22AM
    • Correct Pah, not everyone can work from home but many can and at least those who cant will see less traffic and more seats on public transport if this idea were to go ahead.

      Commenter
      Clarence
      Date and time
      February 06, 2013, 8:32AM
    • Looks like Sydney will continue to be the congested mess it has always been. Good if you own property close to the CBD as it will continue to be in demand because people don't want to put up with the ridiculous commute times from further out. Any more than 30 minutes to get to work is a waste.

      Commenter
      Bender
      Date and time
      February 06, 2013, 8:32AM
    • Does Nick consult for Macquarie ? Is he upset they didint get the gig like when Bobby Carr was in town ?

      Commenter
      gman
      Location
      nsw
      Date and time
      February 06, 2013, 8:36AM

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