Funds leave Treasury 'like doves from a magician's hat' but to what end?

The St George and Sutherland communities might have been wondering about $500 million in the federal budget for the Princes Highway - but that's for Victoria.

There are $4 million for the Princes Highway at Kirrawee and $50 million for King Georges Road. That ties in or not with WestConnex's taking traffic away.

Car parking at Hurstville will be increased by maybe one train's equivalent, the Budget's NSW's $50 million being split four ways.

Sydney Ports is pumping up truck numbers from north and south (as shown here) but as I pointed out in the Leader, the NSW Government's broken promises include the Port and Airport Gateways ($2 billion plus) and the F6, Stage 1 only, $50 million towards $2.6 billion - which was cut short despite the PM's nominal advocacy.

Where does that leave local motorists and bus passengers? There's no priority for ports and freight congestion but plenty of "Hail Mary" fast rail promises.

The PM did not protest either when in March 2018 the Nats' Barilaro excluded the Illawarra and Newcastle from the "real regions" receiving Snowy's $4 billion.

Other Sydney projects in the Budget represented the underfunding of congestion hotspots:

  • $3.5 billion for North-south rail link in Western Sydney, going on to $20 billion of poor thinking, which starts at the wrong end and delivers another big "nothing"
  • $40 million for detailed assessments of five fast rail corridors (including Melbourne to Albury) which are a weird confusion as CLARA was to be Melbourne to Sydney via Albury.

To show her priorities, Premier Berejiklian has put a $3.9 billion piece of WestConnex's mid-section at Rozelle, the new section moving congestion 1km from Rozelle to nearby nowhere as the Iron Cove Bridge won't have the capacity and will sit above the tunnel anyway! Rural dispersal of population pressures is a myth.

A very big project, Melbourne to Geelong fast rail at $2 billion, received just $50 million over 4 years - the same perverse never-never promises.

When $100 million has been gifted to buddy consultants for small job in Sydney's west, that $50 million will be leaving Treasury hands like doves from a magician's hat, just like our hopes for better influence in Canberra.