HarbourLink: nice try but no cigar, says Albanese

Here's my effort to get HarbourLink built -- and the response.

Dear Mr Albanese,

I am writing in support of federal funding for the HarbourLink project.

I am a resident of Rozelle in Sydney, and a regular cyclist. I ride to work most days.

I also ride on weekends to my mother's house in Mosman, across the Anzac Bridge, through the city and over the Harbour Bridge.

Being middle-aged and not particularly fit, with reflexes not what they once were, I steer clear of roads with heavy traffic on them. I stick to bike paths and back roads wherever I can. Getting through North Sydney to Falcon Street and then Mosman is thus something of a challenge.

It seems to me that my North Sydney problem is shared by many residents on this northern side of the Harbour. I also can see that the HarbourLink proposal put forward by North Sydney Council and various other groups solves that problem at a stroke.

The existing cycle path on the western side of the Harbour Bridge is good as far as it goes, but once on the north shore, it ends in a flight of 55 steps. Imagine if the Bradfield Highway ended in a flight of steps. You can't, obviously, because it would be an absurdity, depriving the bridge of its basic function. The present cycleway is no less absurd.

The HarbourLink project would remove this absurdity and make cycling attractive to many more people from across the lower north shore, perhaps beyond. Cycling is more than just a fast and convenient means of transport for short trips. In one activity it combats many of this world's present day ills: obesity (alas not terribly effectively in my case), depression, pollution, the greenhouse effect will do to start with, but the list is much longer. Yet in NSW it is - scandalously, in my view - neglected in the roads budget. We must therefore look to Canberra.

I urge you to consider this excellent project for federal funding.

Yours sincerely,


The Hon Anthony Albanese MP
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government
Leader of the House

Reference: 11586-2008

Mr Christopher Henning

Dear Mr Henning

Thank you for your email dated 3 December 2008 about the City of Sydney submissions to Infrastructure Australia on the Inner Sydney Cycle network. I apologise for the delay in replying.

As you would be aware, Infrastructure Australia has been tasked with providing advice to government on major nationally significant infrastructure and related issues. A national audit conducted by Infrastructure Australia, designed to inform their Infrastructure Priority List, has recently been concluded. As part of the audit process, Infrastructure Australia consulted widely and considered submissions form all spheres of government, industry and the community. A copy of the naitional audit is available at .

Following assessment by Infrastructure Australia, the Inner Sydney Cycle network was not listed for further evaluation and prioritisation.

However, an alternative source of funding which may be available for this type of project is the $300 million Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program. This program provides funding to local governments to build and improve community infrastructure, support local jobs and stimulate local economies during this period of severe global financial crisis.

Of the $300 million allocated to this program, $250 million will be provided in 2008-09 in the form of one-off payments. The City of Sydney and the 15 collaborating Inner Sydney Councils will have received a total one-off funding in 2008-09 under this program of $5.202 million. These funds will be available for ready-to-proceed community infrastructure projects and for additional stages of projects that are currently underway.

An additional $50 million is available in 2008-09 to local government for larger-scale community infrastructure to help deliver an additional investment into local economies and communities. This program has been made available for larger projects on a competitive basis for local governments seeking a minimum Commonwealth contribution of $2 million.

All councils and groups of councils were eligible to apply. Applications have now closed and are currently being assessed. Further information on the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program can be found at .
I note that the proposed Inner Sydney Cycle network, which crosses over 15 Inner Sydney Councils, is supported by those councils and also by the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA). I would encourage you to raise with the City of Sydney that they, and the 15 other Inner City Councils, consider contributing funds from their allocation under the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program to enaable the project to proceed. In addition, the RTA may also be in a position to contribute to the project.

Thank you for raising with me your support for the HarbourLink porposal and for participating in the Rudd Governemnt’s long term efforts to fix and modernise the nation’s critical infrastructure.

Yours sincerely


Views: 129

Comment by Doddsy on January 30, 2009 at 3:52pm
road rules, right of way, liability structure.
Comment by Chris Henning on January 31, 2009 at 11:09am
yogi: Sorry about the missing link. I thought I'd corrected it, too. It is: www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au
Comment by Tony Arnold on January 31, 2009 at 11:55am
Kylie, The bridge across the freeway is a SUP designed to provide a safe bypass of the Falcon St bridge for pedestrians and cyclists. When the new ramps were added to Falcon St as part of the Lane Cove Tunnel project, they created a couple of breaks in the footpath on the North side of the Falcon St bridge. Before the new ramps were added, it was possible to walk straight across Falcon St without stopping stopping at lights. The aim of the bridge is to return the pedestrian and cyclist access to the same level as before.

Personally, I would much rather that they didn't build this bridge and use the millions of dollars to fund the Harbourlink project instead. The two projects require a similar level of funding but Harbourlink would provide about 10 times the benefit!!


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