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Stalled M4 East project gets sudden green light

Andrew Clennell and Alexandra Smith

June 13, 2007

WORK will begin on the controversial M4 East extension in this term of
government, the NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, says, with a design and
timetable for the project due out this winter.

Three months ago - before the election - the Government refused to
commit to a timetable for the road.

Previous options for extending the M4 from Concord have included a
tunnel to Port Botany to help with traffic from the port expansion.
Whatever plan is adopted is certain to include a large section of
tunnel, and the Government will be keen to build it in a
private-public partnership, despite being bitten by the Cross City
Tunnel controversy.

Construction work on the M4 East project would affect the marginal
electorates of Marrickville and Drummoyne.

"M4 is the next key road project, and it is one we will tackle this
term," the Premier said.

Mr Iemma said the Government was also considering a proposal from the
private sector for a fast rail link from western Sydney to the city.

Under the plan, a consortium backed by Leighton Contractors would
build a 26-kilometre tunnel between Parramatta and Wynyard, at no cost
to the taxpayer, as well as extra lines between St Marys and Penrith
and a new city station. The trip to Parramatta would be cut from 34
minutes to 11 minutes; it would take 17 minutes to get to Blacktown,
instead of up to 45; and 28 minutes to get to Penrith, instead of up
to 74 minutes.

The head of the government's office of the co-ordinator general, David
Richmond, who is preparing the design and examining the rail project,
said the extension of the motorway would include public transport
improvements, such as bus lanes.

Professor Richmond said he was leading a group that would make a
decision on the rail project within three months.

Mr Iemma nominated increased infrastructure spending as a cornerstone
of the budget to be delivered next Tuesday.

The Minister for Roads, Eric Roozendaal, said on March 1 that the plan
to extend the motorway was not on the agenda.
Wh not a tunnel from Port Botany to Wahroonga to cut down on dribbly foamer journeys to Newcastle FCOL.
Oh yeah, I suppose the general public could use it also.

Help with traffic for the port expansion? I thought they were going to increase rail movements to compensate.
Thats what the Southern Courier stated with the pretty pictures of 7307 7321 last week and I know that newspapers never feed us bollocks.



Were the 73's stored up the back at Botany which seems to be their usual rusting places????
Nope they were departing or arriving CTAL.
The Southern Direar may have paid to have them pushed their :-)