Just how good is the WestConnex mega-deal which toll road monopolist Transurban has struck with NSW? Where is the that $11b going and what is this mysterious new “WestInvest”? Wendy Bacon investigates the deception around Australia’s biggest and most secretive infrastructure project.
This week, more stories highlighting the pain of tolls have emerged from another Parliamentary Inquiry into tolling regimes. Big trucking company Toll recommended that its trucks avoid tollroads where the benefits are not clear. But late this week, there is more diversionary spin. Channel Nine reports that the NSW government has announced 19 new bridges at the St Peters Interchange and five kilometres of motorway which will cost $2 billion.
Is this the same Sydney Gateway project that was first announced 7 years ago and announced again in 2018? Is this old money spun into another upbeat announcement or has the $2 billion project morphed into an even bigger project to feed traffic into Westconnex? Unbelievably, the same old PR line of drivers saving 40 minutes from Parramatta to the airport, as has been constantly used since 2012, has been recycled again.
The question is not how the profits from the sale of WestConnex will be used but rather how much WestConnex will cost the public now and in the future.