Westconnex

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT ( Prospect ) ( 16:04 ): I speak in opposition to this ridiculous motion. The member for Seven Hills and the member for Parramatta must be living in a fantasy world. I hope they are enjoying the whole debate and the fact that they are supporting tolls on the WestConnex roads. Let us be honest: Today the WestConnex is a $16.8 billion toll road. In a week or two it will be another billion dollars. The scheduled completion for stage two is late. As much as they want to talk about the efficiency of this Government and how great it is doing, the completion date of the WestConnex has already been moved from 2019 to 2020.

I am most happy about the fact that the member for Seven Hills, the member for Parramatta and other Liberal members support the fact that toll booths are the first thing to be completed on the toll roads. The first thing that voters will see when they are stuck in the gridlock as they drive from Penrith, Greystanes, Parramatta, Seven Hills, Prospect and other places into the city are toll booths. Not only has this Government flogged off all of the State's electricity assets, it has also put new tolls on the M4. A WestConnex toll road is just what we need. The Government has proclaimed to be a great manager of its budgets, but it is a lie. In 2012 the budget allocation for the WestConnex was $10 million.

Ms Jodi McKay: What is it now?

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT: Let us look at it. In 2013 the budget allocation was $11.5 billion. In 2014, there was a readjustment and the figure became $14.9 billion. In June 2015 it was $15.4 billion. The figures continue to rise. In November 2015 it was $16.8 billion. At the moment it is $17 billion. The budget has blown out by $7 billion already and we have another four years of budget blowouts to go.

Dr Geoff Lee: Have you finished yet?

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT: No, but the member for Parramatta will be finished after the election. He will be gone, as will the member for Seven Hills. I look forward to a sea of Labor red across Western Sydney as a result of the tolls. Those members should be saying to their Premier, "What have you done? You are destroying the livelihoods of the people of Western Sydney." Each day tradies will have to spend money on tolls, which are rising by 4 per cent per year. At the moment the consumer price index is 1 per cent. The toll will remain for 42 years. This Government will cheat not only the current residents of Western Sydney, but also their children. The annual toll will be an average of $2,000 a year for each person in Western Sydney who uses the WestConnex. That figure is as of 2016, but it will continue to rise by 4 per cent each year. The M4 widening toll is around $4.50. The M4 East is$3.65. The new M5 section is $5.72. The M5 East near Beverly Hills is $5.71. The M4-M5 link is $6.01. That is a WestConnex toll total of $7.95. It is unbelievable.

That is only the monetary aspect. We also have the Government's secrets. If it is a great project that is doing well, why has the Government set up the Sydney Motorway Corporation, which is a private company, to hide all the interactions concerning the WestConnex? Let us be honest, this is a Government of lobbyists. I would love to know what Nick Greiner had to say about all of this. The Government should release the David Russell report if it is so good, but it will not. There has been no transparency throughout the whole process. Hundreds of homes have been compulsorily acquired and hundreds more will be voluntarily acquired. It is a disgrace and members opposite will lose their seats as a result. [Time expired.]

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