Richmond's Budget Bridge

May 12, 2020

In February I spoke about the plan to duplicate the bridge at Richmond and North Richmond in the Hawkesbury area. I expressed the fear that, despite all the consultation, the final decision on this project would be based purely on budget. It turns out my fears were well founded. Information received by my office shows the number of corridor options for the federally funded bridge have been narrowed from five to two because the costs are significantly outside of the funding envelope. In other words, the money promised by the Morrison government won't cut it. The duplicate bridge will only have a one-in-20-year flood level with approaches that are—wait for it—at a one-in-five-year level. It's a budget bridge. It's the cheap option, not the best option.

More than 700 people responded to my community survey on this project. Nearly three-quarters said they wanted a route that went around, not through, Richmond and North Richmond. In 2019 Hawkesbury council moved to support the bypass. Yet again the real needs of the Hawkesbury are being completely ignored by the Liberals. We wanted a bypass at Windsor. We got a three lane bridge that almost flooded earlier this year. Who builds a three lane bridge in the 21st century? They do. Now we have the budget bridge that isn't even being considered as a flood evacuation route in one of the most flood prone areas in New South Wales. What should be a third crossing will simply funnel heavy traffic through the same old roads.

Labor pledged that we would build at least— (Time expired)