Professor of the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute Peter Newman has shared his thoughts on the controversial WestConnex motorway that both the NSW Coalition and Labor governments have committed to constructing, at least in part in Labor’s case.
In the video, which was shown at a City of Sydney public meeting about the project, Professor Newman says we should be focusing on building the cities of the 21st century, not the roads.
“[The WestConnex] is in fact is an approach that goes back to the 1960s; it’s not 21st century at all.”
Cities around the world were now competing on walkability, he said, and public transport.
“The knowledge economy is now the difference between cities. If you can have a thriving, productive, creative, innovative knowledge economy then you can compete. Young people will stay and work with you. They won’t go to Paris and London and New York,” he said.
The Greens remain opposed to what will be Australia’s largest road infrastructure projects, with the NSW government committing $1.8 billion, and the federal government committing $1.5 billion over the next four years, as well as a $2 billion concessional loan.
The City of Sydney recently released a review conducted by SGS Economics and Planning that warned the toll road would not be financially viable and would not deliver promised travel time savings for years.
It also found the road would deliver substantial additional traffic to neighbourhoods around the planned St Peter’s interchange, including Newtown, Erskineville, Alexandria, Waterloo and Redfern.
“This report shows that WestConnex will not deliver for Western Sydney, or for taxpayers, or the travelling public,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“Instead of 1950s projects like WestConnex, the government should be investing in public transport.”