The Western Leadership Dialogue has welcomed the release of a roads evacuation package in the flood-prone areas of north west Sydney.
Dialogue Chairman, Christopher Brown, said the package will be a congestion-buster for the region, and the $50 million commitment to the Castlereagh Connection will be crucial for its eventual development.
“We cannot underestimate the importance of providing adequate roads infrastructure and evacuation access for the safety and wellbeing of our residents,” Mr Brown said.
“We’ve been staring at a dotted line in the old Gregory’s Street Directory where a Castlereagh Connection should be for over 50 years. I’m delighted that someone is stepping up to deliver this critical infrastructure for the residents of north west Sydney.
“For too long, residents have been stuck in a go-slow lane with a road network that is not up to scratch, especially around growth areas of Marsden Park and Richmond. This package of road works can both save lives and drive jobs in the region.
“While we’ve fully supported the work of State Minister, Stuart Ayres, to raise the Warragamba dam wall, we’ve long realised the floodplain regions of the Nepean require a three pronged approach of dam wall protection, water recycling and a road and bridge evacuation network.”
The Dialogue has been lobbying both sides of politics to deliver better infrastructure in the region, including direct presentations to Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, Federal opposition leader, Anthony Albanese, and the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Catherine King.
Research and modelling by The Dialogue shows the Castlereagh Connection would intersect with four of the current evacuation routes and divert up to 24,000 vehicles, particularly many of the 37,000 residents of the highly flood prone Richmond-Windsor SA3, onto the M7.
The Castlereagh Connection would also:
- Improve access to the Motorway network for residents, particularly in the Northwest growth centre where some 30,000 new homes are planned
- Support the Marsden Park strategic centre which has potential for 10,000 jobs
- Improve access to jobs and education for surrounding suburbs, which were identified as highly disadvantaged under the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) by the ABS (2016)