12 March 2013 — The Prime Minister and Opposition Leader should both look at a range of infrastructure, planning and land use options which integrate walking, cycling, public transport and roads to connect Western Sydney residents to the rest of the city, a taskforce says.

The Moving People 2030 Taskforce is made up of representatives from eight national organisations with links to public transport, health, cycling, urban planning and local government.

Spokesperson Michael Apps, executive director of the Bus Industry Confederation, said the Taskforce wanted a commitment from the Australian Government to address congestion on western Sydney roads.

“We believe the WestConnex project is more than a road project, it is an urban planning project, which through the integration of active and public transport infrastructure can revitalise the Sydney CBD and build communities along its route,” he said.

“With this approach it has the potential to improve the liveability and global competitiveness of Sydney.

“The Australian Government should work with the NSW government to progress projects like the North West Rail Link, the Parramatta Light Rail proposal and to improve infrastructure for bus services to ensure commuters have choice in transport options.

“Most important of all, to free up capacity for the entire Sydney rail network, Australian Government support will be needed for a second Harbour rail crossing.”

Mr Apps said Western Sydney residents spent the highest proportion of their time travelling to work and this was impacting on their quality of life and ability to spend time with their families.

“We need to give people in the outer metropolitan areas of our cities more options than owning multiple cars and spending a substantial amount of their disposable income and time in getting to work, school and essential services like health,” he said.

The Taskforce will be launch a report in Canberra tomorrow that provides a range of recommendations within a transport plan for “a productive and active Australia” in 2030.