I have received in my capacity as President of the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils a request from the Mayor of Bankstown, Cr Tania Mihailuk, seeking my participation in a taskforce to push the need for expansion of the M5East with the federal and state governments.
I congratulate the Mayor of Bankstown for her initiative as it builds on what we’ve been doing in this City for the last few years. We have focused on the traffic outfalls of the expansion of Port Botany while Cr Mihailuk is focused the delays and congestion on the M5East.
As representative of local government, Cr Mihailuk and I are not that far apart. While I have been vocal, and consistent, in my campaign for both the state and federal governments to address the need to boost rail as a more significant mode of transport for the containers that will come over the wharves at Port Botany, Cr Mihailuk is looking at the traffic implications from Campbelltown to Mascot and beyond.
She is quite right when she says that in addition to current congestion, growth pressures will further erode the operation of the M5. I quote from her letter:
“The development of the south west growth centre in the Camden, Campbelltown and Liverpool Local Government Areas is likely to see an additional 100,000 homes over the next 30 years and an additional 100,000 homes are predicted in established areas along the M5 corridor.”
Cr Mihailuk acknowledges the adverse impacts on both the M5 and the M5East when the third terminal at Port Botany comes into operation between 22012 and 2013.
What the Mayor of Bankstown is proposing is that Mayors along the M5 corridor, from Campbelltown through to us, and the presidents of the regional organisations of councils participate in a task force. The aim of the task force is to advocate to state and federal governments that a firm timetable be put in place for the M5East duplication and other important projects to upgrade the capacity of the entire M5 corridor.
She is right to demand firm commitments from government. Unless we get some movement on this vital corridor then its impacts will be felt right across Sydney. It is a vital corridor and it is vital for freight, for commercial traffic and for commuter traffic.
Council has agreed to participate in the task force and the Deputy Mayor Cr George Glinatsis will represent us.