Now Sydney’s M4 East project goes on hold

<p>Development of a major freight highway planned for Sydney, the M4 East, has been delayed for 18 months of further study.</p> <p>The <em>Sydney Morning Herald</em> reported that the road link between the M4 at Homebush and eventually Port Botany, running through tunnels and sunken roadways, has been suspended in its existing form because of residential backlash in sensitive electorates. </p> <p>The paper said today (Wednesday, April 27) the project has been criticised as an outdated product of single-agency planning. </p> <p>The review will now take in the overall impact of the increase in port traffic from 1.3m teu, to over 3m teu in the years after 2020, as well as rail capacity problems, and residential and retail issues. </p> <p>However, the expansion plan for Port Botany has now been underway for many years, and there is already a Freight Infrastructure Review Board under Labor heavyweight Laurie Brereton looking at the correct balance of road and rail facilities needed to support the port. </p> <p>This was also set up in light of a known future shortage of rail facilities in Sydney. </p> <p>The Brereton group is expected to report back before the Commission of Inquiry under Kevin Cleland reports back in June on the expansion of the Botany terminals. </p> <p>Residential groups affected by the road plan say that the road should use tunnels of up to 14 km through the Marrickville area near the port and airport, and through Strathfield, in order to avoid major impact. </p> <br />