The real issues left unanswered

Logistics seemed to crowd out the subject that hit home in the session.
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The NSW Roads Facebook Live Richmond Bridge session on Monday focussed on traffic flows on the green and purple options with stiled answers coming when questioned about property acquisitions.

State and Federal governments have $500 million to spend. The green, yellow and hybrid options meet that budget. The purple one costs more than budgeted.

The expressed overall community mood was a call for the ‘purple option’ to go ahead rather than the green.

Timothy Webster from NSW Roads led a team answering questions posted by viewers who watched the video live.

Most questions focused on traffic flow on either the purple or green options.

When it came to more emotional issues, Mr Webster admitted: “There’s probably a lot more consultation needed on our behalf.”

He was talking about the touchy subject of property acquisition. Many different scenarios were discussed.

Mr Webster was continually pushed for the specific number of home acquisitions, saying these figures were unavailable at this stage of the project.

“As the project evolves, some of those property impacts may change over time. I couldn’t answer directly in regards to property acquisitions in the purple versus green options,” Mr Webster said.

“What it says in the strategy design (public documentation) to date - and it can change based on how the design develops, also with consultation with property owners as well.”

Mr Webster said there have been talks with polo clubs and these have been considered in their work to date.

One gentleman, claiming to be a landowner, commented he was yet to be contacted. Sophia Lillyfield said: “We want a bridge that doesn’t flood, and purple is the only way.”

NSW Trasport’s team maintained that no decision had been made yet.

“We need to confirm what the preferred route is. We are currently consulting on the preferred route and we will develop construction time frames once we have the preferred option confirmed,” Mr Webster said.

“We are looking at essentially starting a first stage of the project starting next year on a section that is common to all the options along The Driftway. In terms of construction, it’s a few years away and the whole project will take two to three years to be completed.”

Property devaluation, loss of polo clubs and the equine industry were some of the topics not addressed with straight answers.

Michael Morris asked, “How have you valued the impacts on research by acquiring the WSU (Western Sydney University) lands currently being used for bushfire and climate change research?” This was unanswered.

Another of Micheal’s question: - “Modelling is based on the assumptions that are put into the model - there has been not transparency on what assumptions have been used - can you please explain (given that at the public meeting you acknowledge your modelling can be problematic)?” - was also left unanswered. Visit the NSW Roads Facebook page to view the session.

If you have further questions call 1800 370 779 or email richmondbridge@transport.nsw.gov.au

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