Letter to Mr Gay re Westconnex

Mr Gay,

I’m writing an article on WestConnex and Port Botany’s freight transfer methods and had some questions.

In relation to WestConnex and Port Botany’s freight transfer methods, I note that road freight transfer rates are currently at around 86% (without a new motorway to increase capacity and reduce costs).

What is being done to reduce the costs of rail freight transfers at Port Botany to intermodal transfer stations and therefore reduce the volumes of container trucks on the roads? A report done by the NSW State Government in 2011 appears to identify the problems.

“2.1 Inefficiency of Rail Service Quality
Factors that affect the performance of the train operation in terms of service quality include:
– The misalignment between the rail paths and the stevedores’ time windows that creates difficulties for rail operators scheduling services via the port.
– The insufficient rail capacity at the port terminals caused by the lack of rail infrastructure, the limited rail sidings to service rail at the port and insufficient lifting productivity.”

With the West Connex emerging at St Peters near Newtown rather than Mascot, how will the WestConnex reduce the already high volume of container trucks in the Mascot/St Peters area?

Will the business case and supporting documentation be released prior to awarding of the contract? Today Clover Moore asserts in an SMH article that it will not be. If that is the case, then outside of “commercial interests”, what reason would there be for this? The natural assumption reached in the community is that there is something to hide – like the unprofitably of the proposed funding split between public/private as was reported in the AFR yesterday? “Westconnex will be a disaster: Greens“.