The Hon. CHARLIE LYNN: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Roads. In view of the chaos caused by the failure of the computer system in the M5 tunnel yesterday, will the Minister now admit that the construction of the M5 tunnel was based on a flawed plan by the Labor Government and will he now apologise to the working families of south-western Sydney for the daily disruption and frustration the Government causes to their working lives? Will the Minister also advise what money has been allocated in next year’s budget to ameliorate the daily logjam on the M5?
The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL: I certainly understand the frustrations that motorists and the travelling public have experienced in relation to the delays in the M5 tunnel yesterday. I apologise to the motorists and members of the public who were caught up in those delays. The Government is taking action to audit what happened yesterday to prevent a recurrence. We will identify the reasons that the computer server crashed and take appropriate action to ensure that in future the systems operate the way they should.
The Hon. CHARLIE LYNN: I wish to ask a supplementary question: Will the Minister also advise what money has been allocated in next year’s budget to ameliorate the daily logjam on the M5. How much money is in the budget this year specifically for the M5?
The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL: If the member wants details from the budget, I suggest he looks them up himself; I am not about to do his research for him. The Government is commissioning, with the Federal Government, a review of needs in that transport corridor and the potential to duplicate the M5 East. We have a record Roads budget of $4 billion. If we are going to talk about the challenge of the Sydney road network—and I think we should be talking about that—and about the challenge of congestion, we cannot go past the Opposition’s policy announced recently by the shadow Roads spokesperson, who said that the Opposition would support a congestion tax. The only other policy announced by the Opposition is the removal of cashback from the M4 and the M5. The Government remains committed to cashback, we remain committed to improving the road network, and we will never impose a congestion tax on the people of this State while we have high interest rates and high petrol prices.
The Hon. Charlie Lynn: Point of order: I asked a specific question about how much money has been allocated. I have looked in the budget papers and there is nothing in them about it. Will the Minister confirm that there is no money allocated for the M5 in this year’s budget?
The PRESIDENT: Order! There is no point of order.
The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL: As I was saying, in a time of high petrol prices and high interest rates, the Opposition’s plan to introduce a congestion tax is not the way to go for Sydney, and this Government will never introduce such a tax.
M5 EAST TUNNEL