Regional Development Australia (RDA) Central West shares the concerns expressed by Central NSW Councils (Centroc) today that the NSW Government’s Future Transport 2056 Regional Services and Infrastructure Plan does not address the big picture issues including connecting Central West NSW to the Greater Sydney Region.
RDA Central West Chair, Alan McCormack, echoed the concerns of Centroc, saying; “A 40 year transport plan that does not improve connection between Central West NSW and Sydney is not a plan.”
“While there appears to be some good work in the plan regarding the need to improve services between regional centres, the issue of connecting the Central west to Sydney appears to be largely ignored,” said Mr McCormack.
The NSW Central West Freight Study, published by RDA Central West and available at https://rdacentralwest.org.au/initiatives/nsw-central-west-freight-study/, found that a large capacity issue exists in the movement of road freight from the eastern side of the Central West via the Blue Mountains into Sydney. Lithgow is an access point for 80% of the region’s road freight but only trucks less than 19 metres can traverse the existing route through to Sydney.
“A longer term solution involving the Bells Line of Road Expressway is required to address this capacity issue. No such solution is considered in the current draft Future Transport 2056 Plan. In fact, it seems to have been put into the ‘too hard basket’,” said Mr McCormack.
Chair of Centroc, Cr Medcalf said, “The current draft plan says The Blue Mountains will continue to challenge transport access to Greater Sydney from our region. This is after the millions of dollars of expenditure to secure a corridor for a future upgrade of the Bells Line.”
“Unfortunately, Central NSW has gone 20 years backwards in this plan. There is no mention of securing the corridor for a future upgrade of the Bells Line. There is no recognition of our pattern of settlement. There is no recognition of the growing need for a link between our communities and western Sydney or into other ports or Canberra. It’s not just about links to international ports though, whether you are delivering food to Sydney, or visiting our beautiful region, there is no solution offered in this draft plan,” said Cr Medcalf.
RDA Central West encourages individuals, businesses and communities in regional NSW to view the draft plan and respond here by 3 December 2017.
Media Contact: Julia Andrews, Executive Officer, RDA Central West, 0448 288 698
About Regional Development Australia – Central West
RDA Central West is part of a national network of 55 locally managed, not -for-profit incorporated associations responsible for regional economic development and is jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments. Our region extends from Lithgow in the east to Lake Cargelligo in the west and comprises the local government areas of Lithgow, Oberon, Bathurst, Blayney, Orange, Cabonne, Cowra, Parkes, Forbes, Weddin and Lachlan.