Sometimes the real benefits of our City’s location, such as our closeness to the central CBD, beaches, the airport and routes out of the metropolitan area have associated disadvantages. The biggest one to my mind is congestion. I read with interest, and a fair bit of concern, the report by the Federal Government’s Major Cities Unit to Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese that congestion that now costs Sydney $3.5 billion a year will rise to $7.8 billion by 2020. These are not hypothetical figures, they are a real cost that will impact on everyone. More concerning for Sydney was the fact that we have the highest share across the nation of trips to work via public transport, which you would think should ease congestion. This means that the State Government’s Metropolitan Transport Plan, with its emphasis on public transport expansion, has become vital for our community’s future. For our immediate area the cross regional bus lanes may have a positive effect but we need to look beyond that to our road networks. Increased bus trips shouldn’t have to compete with increased heavy truck movements because if they do then our local congestion will increase above the projected levels. There are some big challenges that have to be faced so our City’s residents can enjoy the benefits of our location along with minimal adverse congestion. We’ll always have congestion (it goes with living in a big city) but we need to be able to manage it.