Ms MOORE: My question is directed to the Minister for Public Works and Services, Minister for Ports, Assistant Minister for Energy, and Assistant Minister for State and Regional Development, and Acting Minister for Roads. Will an extension of time be granted for submissions to the environmental impact statement process for the Eastern Distributor and will alternative solutions be seriously considered and costed, particularly for critical areas such as the Woolloomooloo and South Dowling Street, Moore Park areas?
Mr SCULLY: The statutory period for submissions has been satisfied but the Government is happy to receive further submissions up to Christmas. I will have discussions with the Minister for Roads later today about whether the period can be extended further. The Government is committed to allowing as much community input as possible, and I think the proposed process will facilitate that provided it does not jeopardise the construction program. In relation to alternative solutions, the Government has already given assurances to the Lord Mayor, as we would give to the honourable member for Bligh, that serious proposals will be properly reviewed, costed and considered. I understand that yesterday the Roads and Traffic Authority met with the Sydney City Council to discuss its proposal. In fact, that was the first time that detailed documentation was presented by Sydney City Council to the RTA. I am advised that another meeting will occur on 27 November to follow up the proposals. The RTA is certainly willing to consider all the alternatives.