On Sunday the 3rd of March, 2019 Dean Harris co-hosted a community forum in Balgowlah with NSW State Labor candidates Natasha Phillips-Mason (Manly) and Michael Lester (North Shore).

Three expert guest speakers made presentations on public transport options to ease congestion on the North Shore and Beaches.

“We are holding this forum because the NSW Government’s quick-fix, political response to North Shore congestion is not a viable, cost-effective or sustainable solution”, said Dean Harris.

The proposed Northern Beaches Tunnel will have many negative impacts.

The tunnel will impact significantly on local green space and amenity, especially during construction. It will inevitably be privatized and operate with heavy and ever-escalating user tolls.

Based on current NSW infrastructure project experience it will incur billions of dollars in cost overruns and take many years to complete

The business case for the estimated $8 billion and over 10km long and deep tunnel has not been released by the NSW Government. There has been no analysis of the costs and benefits of public transport options.

Environmental and social impacts have been treated lightly. The project construction cost has not been budgeted for. The levels of toll charges and escalations when the project is privatized have not been released.

“The Tunnel project was pulled out of a political hat in a hasty, ill considered, non-consultative manner lacking transparency and engendering community misgivings and distrust about the processes involved”, said Michael Lester.

Public transport options can deliver significant advantages over the tunnel proposal. Increasing accessibility and reducing travel times; increasing the capacity of roads; minimising air pollution and the need for expensive exhaust stacks; encouraging the emerging shift to public transport away from cars; reducing congestion; facilitating introduction of new transport technologies; building a city for the 21st century; and enabling practical staged implementation.

“As Labor candidates for the area, we are committed to exploring cost-effective and sustainable public transport solutions and will take the conclusions of this forum into the next Labor Governments’ policy processes. The people of North Shore and Northern Beaches need sustainable, strategic and integrated investment in public transport rather than more motorways.” said Harris, Phillips-Mason and Lester.

The Forum was held at the Balgowlah Golf Course

Copies of the Presentations are displayed below:

Dr Gary Glazebrook

Assocaite Professor Garry Glazebrook is a transport and urban planner, specialising in the evaluation and design of sustainable transport systems and their integration into the urban environment. A/Professor Glazebrook’s key areas of expertise include public transport network planning; integration of transport and land use; transport operations analysis; and accessibility analysis. He combines this public transport focus with a strong statistics and operations research background.

Professor Peter Newman

Peter Newman is the Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University.He sat on the Board of Infrastructure Australia and is a Lead Author for Transport on the IPCC. His books include ‘Green Urbanism in Asia’ (2013), ‘Resilient Cities: Responding to Peak Oil and Climate Change’(2009), ‘Green Urbanism Down Under’ (2009) and ‘Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence’ with Jeff Kenworthy which was launched in the White House in 1999. In 2001-3 Peter directed the production of Western Australia’s Sustainability Strategy in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. In 2004-5 he was a Sustainability Commissioner in Sydney advising the government on planning and transport issues. In 2006/7 he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Virginia Charlottesville. In 2011 Peter was awarded the Sidney Luker medal by the Planning Institute of Australia (NSW) for his contribution to the science and practice of town planning in Australia and in 2014 he was awarded an Order of Australia for his contributions to urban design and sustainable transport, particularly related to the saving and rebuilding of Perth’s rail system.

Mr Ted Nye

Ted Nye is a civil engineer with specialist experience in underground engineering, particularly related to transport. This includes from initial planning through to detailed design and construction. Over his 35 year plus career, he has worked on numerous large and challenging projects in both road and rail transport within Australia and overseas. He has published over 35 technical papers.