Improving transport for Sydney

A draft report called Connecting Our City was considered by Councillors in the Planning, Development and Transport Committee on Monday. The draft report lays out a plan to get Sydney’s congested transport networks moving.

Sydney’s overall population is set to nearly double by 2036. The City is one of the fastest growing areas with 60 per cent more residents and 31 per cent more jobs expected over the next 25 years.

Without bold action, our growing population will mean worsening congestion. The City of Sydney is looking at a range of ideas to keep transport moving, this includes making it easier for cars to get around.

I was surprised by the Premier’s announcement of a joint Central Sydney Traffic and Transport Committee, when I was notified in a call from a journalist on Tuesday night.

I want to find out how it will differ from current working arrangements, given the City has limited powers and the NSW Government already has to approve all of the City’s transport projects – including all bike routes.

City staff regularly consult and work closely with NSW transport agencies. For example, the City is part of the Transport Minister’s Light Rail Round Table.

We are represented on the Barangaroo Transport Task Force and Sydney’s Local Pedestrian, Cycling and Traffic Calming Committee, a State Government Committee under the Roads and Maritime Services agency, is chaired by a City Councilor and deals with all transport projects and issues in the City. This Committee has more State representatives than City representatives and is open and accountable to the public. We hope the Premier isn’t planning to take this behind closed doors.

The City has neither stopped anything the State has sought to do to improve transport, nor has the City done anything without State approval.

Unless this new Committee has extra authority to act or funding to support existing plans, it will be in danger of becoming just another level of bureaucracy – the kind this Government has unfortunately become infamous for. Sydney needs action not more bureaucracy.

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