Clearway fuels fears

Consultation call: from left, Kogarah MP Chris Minns, Rockdale MP Steve Kamper and Shadow Roads Minister John Graham at Bexley this week. Picture: John Veage
Consultation call: from left, Kogarah MP Chris Minns, Rockdale MP Steve Kamper and Shadow Roads Minister John Graham at Bexley this week. Picture: John Veage

Kogarah MP Chris Minns has called on the State Government to immediately suspend its decision to introduce clearways through Bexley from February 17 after concerns they will ease the way for B-double trucks using the road to transport aircraft fuel to the proposed Western Sydney Airport.

Mr Minns cites the Commonwealth Government's report into Western Sydney Airport (WSA) Aviation Fuel Supply Corridor Options which was prepared by consultants Deloitte in 2017.

Transport for NSW has denied a connection between the new Bexley clearway conditions and the report.

"There is no link between a local clearway, benefiting motorists and the local community, and this consultant's report submitted to the Australian Government a number of years ago," a Transport for NSW spokesman said.

The report looks at a number of fuel pipeline options for the WSA.

But page 68 of the report says, "None of the new build pipeline options will be required to deliver jet fuel to WSA when airport operations begin in 2026.

"The most cost-efficient options indicates that B-double trucks should deliver jet fuel until 2034."

Mr Minns said that Option T1 in the report is for 'road transport from an eastern Sydney seaboard port to WSA.

"Page 17 of the report forecasts 41 B-double trucks daily until 2033," Mr Minns said.

"The most direct route is the M5 East, but vehicles carrying dangerous goods cannot use tunnels. The most direct route is then Forest Road and Stoney Creek Road.

"Was the RMS (now Transport for NSW) aware of the increase in fuel trucks resulting from the opening of WSA?

"Is the increase in aviation fuel trucks one of the reasons clearways operate both ways and not just in the direction of the majority of the traffic?

"If so, what risk assessments and modelling did they do? If they were unaware of the expected increase, will they abandon their current plans and go back and do this work?"

Visiting Forest Road Bexley this week, Shadow Roads Minister John Graham said the government needed to be open to the public regarding the clearway.

"Clearways are really out of step with what is happening around the world where cities are trying to regenerate their main street," Mr Graham said.

Rockdale MP Steve Kamper also called for a new public consultation particularly in light of the potential for additional dangerous loads.

"Most people were baffled by the clearways decision," Mr Kamper said.

"This seems to be the reason why they have been so covert in the whole process," he said.

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