A Bells Line Expressway would not only ease the pressure of Sydney congestion but would vitally open up the inland regions to more economic development, RDA Orana Chair John Walkom said.
Mr Walkom’s comments followed a Fairfax Media interview with Bathurst Business Chamber president Angus Edwards, who described the project as ‘nation-building’.
“This is a regional issue that affects everyone west of the Blue Mountains,” he pointed out.
“A good road to Sydney would allow regional business and its residents to reach Sydney more easily. There are close to one million people west of the Great
Dividing Range for whom this would enhance productivity within all types of industry. There is also tourism potential in line with the aim of Destination
NSW to double visitation to the regions.”
With the ever-increasing cost of the Sydney property market and rising population, Mr Walkom said this was an opportunity to build on regional communities.
“This would increase investment, productivity and the economy of our region. More people need more services and that is an opportunity for industry.”
Mr Walkom suggested that a tunnel through the Blue Mountains would be the best means of constructing the new thoroughfare.
“What should be called for now is the tunnel and dual carriage way through to Dubbo, linking all the major highways that connect to the city, creating
good connectivity - whether this is via air, road or rail. Telecommunications is also crucial to the growth of NSW and its regions,” he said.
“With the current amount of tunnelling happening in Sydney, the machines are ready to go once they have completed their tasks in the metropolitan area.”
Mr Walkom described the new roadway as a more efficient and productive boost to infrastructure.
“A tunnel for $2.5 billion through the Blue Mountains and a dual carriageway, it represents great value.
“It would link approximately 900,000 people from the Far West, Central West, Northern Inland and Orana regions directly into the metropolitan area and
“This would further reinforce the Government’s commitment to regional NSW and support its decentralisation policy.”/ENDS