In the interests of good governance and transparency, The Greens WestConnex spokesperson and Member for Newtown Jenny Leong has called on the Government to immediately halt the acquisition of homes and the construction of early stages of the tollway until the business case has been finalised and made public.
“We are now talking about $15.4 billion dollars for the WestConnex tollway – an increase of $500 million from last year – and up from $10 billion from when the project was first initiated. That’s over $450 million per kilometre!” said The Greens WestConnex spokesperson and Member for Newtown Jenny Leong.
“Sydney can have world class public transport for a fraction of the proposed cost of WestConnex, but this Government lacks that vision and would rather invest in more traffic and pollution for our city.
“And still there is no business case publically available –it’s apparently still under revision. We also don’t have an environmental impact statement or planning approval of the project as a whole.
“The Government is seeking funding from private sector capital raised against tolls on completed stages of the project. Goldman Sachs has been engaged by the Government to find private sector debt providers for a project that hasn’t got planning approval.
“Modelling done on tolls says they would need to be as high as $26 dollars for the project to be financially viable – so no matter what way you look at it the public is going to be paying a high price for this polluting tollway disaster that is not in the community interest.”
“The fact that it is reported that the increase in cost in this year’s budget is due to an increased bill for home acquisitions is even more outrageous – and a further blow to the many families who are set to lose their homes,” she said.
Detail from Budget Paper No.2
In ‘Section 1.4: Capital Investment by Sector’ in Budget Paper No.2 – Infrastructure Statement of the NSW Budget it is explained that the Government is undertaking $38 billion of major capital works in the transport sector, excluding government funding reservations from Restart NSW and Rebuilding NSW. WestConnex is listed as one of these projects.
Footnote 5 in that section reads:
The total estimated project cost is $15.4 billion in outturn costs. Government funding comprises $1.8 billion from Restart NSW, $928 million from the Consolidated Fund and a $1.5 billion Australian Government grant. The Australian Government has also agreed to provide a $2 billion concessional loan with the balance intended to be financed by the private sector.
In Appendix A, Box A.3 it states in relation to private sector funding:
The balance of funding for the scheme is intended to come from private sector capital raised against tolls on completed stages of the project.
Budget Paper No.2 – Infrastructure Statement is available at: