Rep backs parking plan
NRMA CALL FOR BETTER TRANSPORT IN AREA
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.