WestConnex – good money after bad.

Credit Suisse, the investment bankers, have done an analysis of the returns that NSW can expect from our ‘investment’ in WestConnex.

They estimate the value of WestConnex at, wait for it, $3.0 billion.


That’s including the existing M4 and M5.

The NSW Government has committed to spending $16.8 billion, in order to sell roads that we already owned, for perhaps $3.0 billion.

According to Credit Suisse, if we had just privatised the M4 and the M5 the value would have been about $9billion.

But the cost of every stage of WestConnex exceeds its value.

Having spent billions already, we are now looking at a return of perhaps $3 billion.

That’s $6 billion less than if we had simply privatised the roads without spending a cent on them.

And that’s not counting the money that has already been spent.

What Credit Suisse’s numbers say is that:

  • if we had privatised the roads without spending a cent, we’d have made about $9 billion.
  • If we stop now, and privatise what we have, we’ll make about $9 billion.
  • If we finish the M4, then stop, we’ll make about $8.5 billion (because the returns on building the M4 East don’t cover the remaining cost).
  • If we finish the M4 and M5 and then stop, we’ll make about $6 billion (because the returns on building the M5 don’t cover the cost of completing the M5)
  • If we finish the M4 and the M5 and then build the M4M5 Link and the Sydney Gateway, the returns to the State will be about $3 billion.

And this is on the Government’s numbers, which I promise you, are dodgy.

The actual cost is already higher than the forecast, and the actual benefits are going to be lower than forecast.

Remember, today (Friday) is the closing date for submissions to the NSW Upper House Inquiry.

NSW Upper House Inquiry into the Impact of WestConnex – submissions close Friday

The NSW Legislative Council (the Upper House) is holding an inquiry into the “Impact of the WestConnex project”.

Submissions close this Friday (the 31st).

A draft copy of the ARAG submission is here.

The terms of reference are here. 

Inner West Council has more information here.

We encourage you to make a submission detailing your personal experience of how WestConnex has impacted on you.

You can make a submission directly.

Or there are a number of websites to help you make a submission:

WestConnex Inquiry

The NSW Upper House is holding an inquiry into the “impact of the WestConnex Project”.

The committee will examine a range of issues including the cost of the project, its governance structures, the compulsory acquisition of properties as part of the development, and the project’s relationship with other road projects in Sydney.

Committee Chair Fred Nile said:

‘The NSW Government has invested significant funds in the WestConnex project. This inquiry will investigate the adequacy of the WestConnex business case and the project’s costs, particularly whether this project represents a good investment for New South Wales taxpayers “

Submissions to the inquiry are open until 31 August 2018. You can make a submission here.

You are encouraged to tell the inquiry how the WestConnex project has affected you. Submissions detailing your own personal experiences are informative, relevant and potentially very compelling evidence.

The full terms of reference are here.


ARAG meeting, 8 August

Our next meeting will be

  • 7pm, Wednesday, 8 August
  • Alexandria Town Hall, 73 Garden St, Alexandria

We will be discussing:

  • Tanya Plibersek’s WestConnex meeting:
  • The Metro Quarter and the shadows to fall on Alexandria:
  • Ashmore Estate:
    • DA amendment to increase height limits
    • Pile driving impacts on our suburb and our house