GOVERNMENT AND CITY OF SYDNEY MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
The Hon. LYNDA VOLTZ:
My question is addressed to the Minister for Transport. Can the Minister update the House on the implementation of the 2010-2015 Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and the City of Sydney?
The Hon. JOHN ROBERTSON:
I thank the honourable member for her question and interest in this historic agreement between the New South Wales Government and the City of Sydney. The Metropolitan Transport Plan is a comprehensive transport strategy for Sydney that supports the urban growth of Australia's only global city. It is a 10-year, fully funded package of transport infrastructure—$50.2 billion over 10 years. It includes the delivery of major transport projects like the South West Rail Link and the Western Express and the delivery of new trains, buses and ferries.
Importantly, the Metropolitan Transport Plan also seeks to address issues such as congestion, connectivity and accessibility in the Sydney central business district. Keeping the central business district moving is crucial for improving the efficiency of transport networks across greater Sydney. Congestion on York Street can cause delays for people on buses on the other side of the Harbour Bridge, and delays in Sussex Street and George Street can impact on transport flows in the inner west. The majority of our transport links connect communities to the city centre. Therefore, creating an efficient and integrated central business district is vital. This is one of the reasons that the New South Wales Government has signed an historic partnership with the City of Sydney to transform Sydney. The 2010-2015 Memorandum of Understanding between the New South Wales Government and the City of Sydney Council will create an integrated and connected city centre that supports economic growth and capitalises on Sydney's many assets as an iconic global city. As a result of this agreement, we will take an integrated and sustainable approach to plan for Sydney's growth. It also means the city and the State Government will work together to make the central business district work better for the people who live here, work here and visit our great city.
The memorandum of understanding commits both parties to the implementation of 16 specific actions. These concrete changes in and around the central business district will start to improve the efficiency and liveability of our city. Yesterday I announced that the call for tenders has commenced for the Sydney City Centre Access Plan, one of the 16 actions of the memorandum of understanding. The Sydney City Centre Access Plan aims to identify short- and longer-term options and solutions to transport challenges in the central business district. The New South Wales Government is already working with the city of Sydney in the Wynyard precinct to improve the flow of buses in the morning and afternoon peaks. The access plan will build on these measures and identify other initiatives to further improve traffic flows, keep buses moving and improve accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists. It will also take into consideration other major projects or development around the city centre. These projects include Barangaroo, Green Square and the City Relief and Western Express rail projects. The access plan will be carried out in close concert with the central business district light rail transport study, which has already commenced. The light rail study will help determine the best route for the light rail extension through the central business district from Central to Circular Quay. It will assess the impact of light rail route options on transport and traffic in the city and propose measures to manage these effects.
Contrary to what those opposite would have us believe, the New South Wales Government is committed to changing the way we travel in central Sydney. We are also committed to hearing what stakeholders have to say and we will be consulting widely with relevant business groups, community groups, industry, the City of Sydney and within Government. I would encourage all members of the House, including those opposite, to take the opportunity to have their say and participate in the consultation process.