Budget fails on Mountains roads

Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, the mayorm Mark Greenhill,
Member for Blue Mountains Trish Doyle, and Ward One Labor candidate Suzie van Opdorp at the Hawkesbury Road roundabout in Springwood.
Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, the mayorm Mark Greenhill, Member for Blue Mountains Trish Doyle, and Ward One Labor candidate Suzie van Opdorp at the Hawkesbury Road roundabout in Springwood.

Blue Mountains Federal, State and Local Government representatives have banded together to demand years of broken Liberal promises on the region's roads be fulfilled after this year's NSW Budget failed to deliver for Mountains roads.

Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, State Member for Blue Mountains, Trish Doyle, and the mayor, Mark Greenhill, joined with Ward One Labor candidate Suzie van Opdorp before the Budget's delivery to call on the government to come good on years of promises to fix congestion hotspots.

But not one cent of funding for projects promised by the Liberals over the past six years has been delivered in the 2021-22 budget.

"In 2015, the Liberal Member for Blue Mountains promised to fix Yeaman Bridge in Katoomba and the Hawkesbury Road intersection in Springwood," said Ms Doyle. "And what's happening in 2021? Nothing.

"As anyone who sat in that traffic over the June public holiday weekend knows, Yeaman Bridge in particular is a horrendous pinch point on public holidays and weekends.

"The state government had the opportunity in this budget to fulfill these years-old promises and do something to fix our roads and rail, rather than make the people of the Blue Mountains wait a decade for a supposed magic tunnel solution - and foot the $10 billion bill that goes with it to save 10 minutes."

Cr Greenhill said he had been in public office for nearly two decades, and had watched Liberal promises come and go.

"Since this government came into office, I have had the Blue Mountains 'super tunnel' promise, the Bells Line of Road expressway promise, and the promise of upgrades for Hawkesbury Road," he said.

"Council was in talks with the state government over Yeaman Bridge and improvements at Springwood in 2016. It's now 2021 and all we've had is years of delays and frustration.

"It's good to talk about the future, but the problems exist right now - and they have for a long time. These ultimately meaningless meetings are delaying or avoiding delivering on promises that were made years ago."

Ms Templeman said the situation had been frustrating for many years.

"As someone who lives in Winmalee and uses Hawkesbury Road nearly every day, it's at the point of being dangerous," Ms Templeman said.

"Like so many other issues, it seems the Liberals are very big on announcements, but when the cameras stop flashing there is simply no delivery."

Ms Doyle said she had raised the issue every year since coming to office.

"Every year I have stood at the roundabout at Hawkesbury Road or at Yeaman Bridge, constantly asking 'where is the money to deal with these traffic congestion problems?'" Ms Doyle said.

"Residents have had enough, and now is the time for government action."