Articles on WestConnex

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The public and finance sectors – but not the government, it seems – are questioning the wisdom of investing in infrastructure for projects like the Adani coal mine. Lukas Coch/AAP

To get the ‘good debt’ tick, infrastructure needs to be fit for the future

If infrastructure is to meet the needs and challenges of an uncertain future, we need to move beyond the AAA ratings mindset and aim for net-positive social and ecological outcomes as well.
Political calculations drove the Abbott and Baird governments’ decisions on investing taxpayers’ money in the WestConnex project. Nikki Short/AAP

WestConnex audit offers another $17b lesson in how not to fund infrastructure

Reckless government investment decisions are sadly the norm when it comes to transport infrastructure. Three key checks on the decision-making process can help ensure taxpayers get value for money.
The two NSW motorway projects were unable to consider the issue of access to a mix of transport options, which is a key factor in public health impacts. Dylan Passmore/flickr

Why transport projects aren’t as good for your health as they could be

Transport infrastructure projects are conceived, planned and assessed in a way that makes it difficult to properly consider their major public health impacts.
The time savings calculated in road project planning are based on incorrect assumptions about driver behaviour. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Modelling for major road projects is at odds with driver behaviour

Projects like Sydney’s WestConnex and Melbourne’s Western Distributor don't account for real world evidence of driver behaviour in estimating travel time savings.
Opponents of projects are often scorned as NIMBYs, but active citizenship and local consultation are key elements in creating a city that works well for as many people as possible. Teresa Parker/AAP

30-minute city’? Not in my backyard! Smart Cities Plan must let people have their say

Cities are home to many different people who will not always agree. We need to learn to embrace public debate as an ongoing, constructive process for working through diverse views and values.
When public housing like the properties in Sydney’s Millers Point is privatised, it profoundly changes the social mix of the inner city to something much more homogenous. AAP/Newzulu/Peter Boyle

Suburbanising the centre: the Baird government’s anti-urban agenda for Sydney

The NSW government agenda would deny the 'right to the city', that network of diverse communities, practices and places which give rise to the convivial and inclusive potential of cities.
Congested roads and overcrowded public transport services are common problems in many of our cities. Dam Himbeechts/AAP

Speaking with: Crystal Legacy on the politics of transport infrastructure

Australia's transport infrastructure needs urgent upgrades. But with governments willing to fund only one or two major projects, how do we decide which infrastructure project to prioritise?
The federal and NSW governments have thrown their support behind the WestConnex toll road, but are they looking at the wrong numbers on projected usage? AAP Image/Paul Miller

Why fewer drivers are likely to use WestConnex than predicted

Australia has a history of over-predicting the usage of roads, a fact worth remembering when you hear the NSW government say 120,000 cars a day will use Stage 3 of the WestConnex.
Victoria’s voters have spoken – and they have said no to Melbourne’s new freeway tunnel. AAP Image/Julian Smith

The East-West Link is dead – a victory for 21st-century thinking

Labor’s state election victory in Victoria has fatally undermined Melbourne’s most controversial tunnel, the now-doomed East-West Link, with new Premier Daniel Andrews pledging to rip up the contracts…

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