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Botany expansion plan full of ‘optimistic assumptions’, says council

<p>Botany Bay City Council, one of the main opponents of Sydney Ports Corporation’s Port Botany expansion plan, has accused the port of being "blinkered" to anything except solving its capacity problems. </p> <p>Tim Hale, SC, presenting the Botany council’s case at the Commission of Inquiry into the port on Friday (October 22), said that "neither the council nor the region has been prepared to receive the port development the roads required are not even on the drawing board".</p> <p>Mr Hale also argued that the EIS the port submitted with its development application fails to comply with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. </p> <p>He said the environmental impact statement does not balance the benefits of port expansion against the social and environmental impact, and does not look at the cost benefits of other port expansion sites. </p> <p>It also particularly deficient in its hazard and risk analysis, he said. </p> <p>Consultant Peter Dryden told the inquiry that had the comprehensive data state guidelines required had been used on the SPC’s preliminary hazard analysis of the port and traffic expansion, it would have shown that the risks were above the acceptable level.</p> <p>Mr Hale argued that EIS conclusions on traffic and noise depends on "optimistic assumptions rather than analysis". </p> <p>The SPC is assuming that the expansion of the Port Botany rail line would go ahead, that rail would achieve a 40% traffic share, and that intermodal terminals would be set up before expansion of port capacity, he said.</p> <p>"There is some bravado in these assumptions", he said, given that there is no current development proposal for the Enfield intermodal terminal, the Milton Morris inquiry ruled against it, and there is no alternative proposal. </p> <p>"Recent experience shows that the Sydney rail network has significant operational constraints," he said.</p> <p>"It’s a ‘she’ll be right, mate’ method of planning."</p> <p>Mr Hale said the assessment of P&#38O Ports and Patrick that the expanded port could handle well in excess of the EIS target of 3.5m teu also causes problems for the surrounding residential areas. </p> <table width="548" border="0"> <tr> <td height="90" width="58">&nbsp<a href="https://www.railexpress.com.au/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=LLDCN/displayfeatures&ampart_id=1084814858306&ampinstance=1084814847434&ampisgood=true"><img src="https://www.railexpress.com.au/content/LLDCN/images/CharityBallsmall.jpg" border="0" /></a></td> <td height="90" width="474"><a href="https://www.railexpress.com.au/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=LLDCN/displayfeatures&ampart_id=1084814858306&ampinstance=1084814847434&ampisgood=true"><font size="3"><b>ImpEx Personnel with support from the CBFCA and AFIF are hosting an industry Charity Ball in support of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead <br /> – Click here</b></font></a></td> </tr> </table> <br />