The State Government’s decision, announced in its Budget, to lease Port Botany to the private sector has, quite obviously and correctly, generated intense local debate. Council’s view on this is similar to other disposals of public assets – the conditions of consent for any private sector operators must be the same as for the public sector. There must be no – not even the slightest – variation of the existing conditions of consent.
From its misguided inception, this project should never have been contemplated much less approved. Council said this time and time again and the best interests of our residents were ignored by government. Putting to one side that successive governments in this State have done no effective planning of transporting containers to and from the expanded port, and, as the rail share is reduced, the congestion on our roads will increase, the existing conditions of consent must be rigourously applied. As it markets to proposed lease, the new State Government must enunciate this fact clearly and repeatedly. Anything less will just exacerbate the adverse long-term life style and transport impacts our community will experience from the expanded Port Botany.
Talking of the port and its impacts, the new Banksia Avenue pedestrian bridge over the port railway line will mean a month-long closure of the intersection at Ellis and Banksia streets. The closure won’t affect any resident access to property and the bride, which replaces the old pedestrian line crossing, is scheduled for completion in December this year.