Rep backs park­ing plan

NRMA CALL FOR BET­TER TRANS­PORT IN AREA

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Kate Bas­tians

PEN­RITH Coun­cil was on the right track with its plan to turn Allen Place carpark into a city park, ac­cord­ing to western Syd­ney’s NRMA rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

David Ben­tham backed the coun­cil’s plan to sell off the Re­serve St and Union Rd carparks and build a mul­ti­storey carpark in Union Rd.

In a wide-rang­ing in­ter­view, Mr Ben­tham de­nounced the planned tolling of the M4 and called for more park­ing and bet­ter pub­lic trans­port in Pen­rith.

“A lot of valu­able land in the cen­tre of Pen­rith is wasted by (sin­gle level) park­ing,” Mr Ben­tham said.

He said the plan to put a toll on the widened M4 was a “tax on western Syd­ney”.

“As soon as it opens, that is go­ing to be rais­ing in ex­cess of $250 mil­lion in tolls per year which will come out of western Syd­ney,” he said.

Mr Ben­tham added it was “es­sen­tial” for the Badgerys Creek air­port to link into the western line.

Mr Ben­tham, a re­tired en­gi­neer, said a heavy rail “loop” con­nect­ing the air­port with ar­eas such as Pen­rith, Black­town, Par­ra­matta, Bankstown and Liv- er­pool should be con­sid­ered.

“Ten years from now when western Syd­ney has an ex­tra mil­lion peo­ple, un­less we get an ef­fi­cient pub­lic trans­port sys­tem it won’t mat­ter how many roads you build,” he said.

“You just won’t be able to drive on them.”

Mr Ben­tham said more needed to be done to cre­ate jobs in western Syd­ney so peo­ple weren’t trav­el­ling dis­tances to get to work.

“The growth of western Syd­ney over the next three years is nearly 400,000,” he said. “In the last five years, there has been vir­tu­ally no growth in jobs other than lo­cal Govern­ment and health care.”

He said the hous­ing de­vel­op­ment boom in the west was the only sav­ing grace in terms of jobs cre­ation.

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