Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery has lent his support to a campaign by NSW Government backbenchers to get the F6 extension from Heathcote to St Peters under way.
At Monday night’s meeting, Cr Bradbery used a Lord Mayoral minute to say the council should support a push from Kiama MP Gareth Ward and five southern Sydney MPs, who are purportedly fighting their own government to have money for the road allocated in the next budget.
‘‘It is important for us to support any program that would facilitate our people having ease of access to one of the major job markets - that is Sydney,’’ he said.
However, he also said ‘‘roads were not the answer’’ for the region’s commuter population, and urged the council to also advocate for an upgrade to the South Coast rail line and the construction of the Maldon-Dombarton freight rail link.
Supporting Cr Bradbery’s motion, Liberal Bede Crasnich sung the praises of his ‘‘friends in the state, who are working very hard and probably getting themsleves in a little bit of trouble’’ to get the extension built.
However, Labor’s David Brown said their campaign was nothing but ‘‘exquisite political theatre’’ and joked he would be willing to bet money that the funds had already been earmarked.
‘‘We are told here that five or six government backbenchers need some petitions signed to bring on debate,’’ Cr Brown said.
‘‘Clearly that’s nonsense ... what’s happening here is - and I would put money on it - that there is already some money in the budget. We should support this, but it’s clearly going to happen and this is just a bit of theatre.’’
Cr Bradbery’s motion was supported by all councillors except Greens’ Jill Merrin and George Takacs, who said they would not support investing millions of dollars into a freeway extension.
‘‘It’s been found many times, by many experts around the world that building new motorways does not reduce the amount of traffic or make traffic movement easier,’’ Cr Merrin said.