Supplementary AGENDA  2R


Distributed on 11 December 2018






Council Meeting








Council Meeting

11 December 2018








The following report/s appear as late item/s with Mayoral approval as information required for the preparation of the report/s was not available at the time of distribution of the Business Paper.



Mayoral Minutes


ITEM                                                                                                                                         Page


C1218(1) Item 49     Mayoral Minute: Reigniting the Case for Trackless Trams                     3

C1218(1) Item 50     Mayoral Minute: Rushed WestConnex Stage 3B Contract                     5


Council Meeting

11 December 2018


Item No:         C1218(1) Item 49

Subject:         Mayoral Minute: Reigniting the Case for Trackless Trams           

From:             The Mayor, Councillor Darcy Byrne   





THAT Council:


1.   Explore opportunities for Professor Peter Newman to include the Parramatta Road Corridor as a case study for his current paper: Delivering Integrated Transit, Land Development and Finance - A Guide and Manual with Application to Trackless Trams, and that this is to include the consideration of the resources required to implement such a scheme;

2.   Approach other councils and key stakeholders along the Parramatta Road Corridor between the City and Strathfield, including Sydney University and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, to support the Trackless Tram project for the Parramatta Road Corridor; and

3.   Convene a forum with key stakeholders with a view to encouraging the State Government to pursue a preliminary feasibility study to examine suitability of applying Trackless Tram technology to the Parramatta Road Corridor and other locations in the metropolitan area, to assist in facilitating its revitalisation.





In April 2016, based on a previous resolution of the former Leichhardt Council, Inner West Council commissioned consultants to analyse opportunities for light rail on Parramatta Road, between Central Station and Strathfield. Canada Bay Council also provided funds for the Study.


In 2017 the Parramatta Road Public Transport Opportunities Study was jointly released by the two councils.


The Study found that track free trams were a much more cost effective and less disruptive public transport option for Parramatta Road.


In particular the Study identified that light rail was unsuitable because the lane widths required meant that many properties would likely need to be compulsorily acquired, as has been demonstrated through the CBD light rail project. It would also have been expensive and disruptive for a community already suffering from construction fatigue due to WestConnex.


The Study considered that the State Government’s proposal to run a high frequency bus service along the corridor would not be the catalyst needed to revitalise Parramatta Road.


Ultimately, the Study recommended further investigations into the emerging “trackless tram” technology.


Subsequently, Council pursued the trackless tram project with the State Government and offered to jointly fund a preliminary feasibility study. Although the State Government initially committed to co-funding the feasibility study, they ultimately reneged on the agreement following political intervention by Transport Minister Andrew Constance


Since that time technology has continued to advance and there are now several trackless tram projects worldwide. 


Professor Peter William Geoffrey Newman AO is an environmental scientist, author and educator based in Perth, Western Australia. He is currently Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University and was awarded an Order of Australia for sustainable transport and urban design in 2014. In 2018 he was awarded Scientist of the Year at the 2018 Western Australian Premier’s Science Awards.


Professor Newman has been one of the primary exponents and advocates for Light Rail in Australia. He has been a strong supporter of supportive of Light Rail as a transport solution for Sydney for many years.


However, Professor Newman has now become a champion for autonomous vehicles or trackless trams.


He recently briefed Council officers on advances in the technology and offered to consider Parramatta Road as a possible case study for his current paper – Delivering Integrated Transit, Land Development and Finance - A Guide and Manual with Application to Trackless Trams.


Professor Newman’s study is examining options for the installation of trackless trams that would allow the initiative to go ahead on Parramatta Road without additional expense to NSW tax payers.


Additionally, discussions with Sydney University and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital have indicated their interest in the technology for application to the Parramatta Road Corridor and the Ultimo-Camperdown Collaboration Area. 









Council Meeting

11 December 2018


Item No:         C1218(1) Item 50

Subject:         Mayoral Minute: Rushed WestConnex Stage 3B Contract           

From:             The Mayor, Councillor Darcy Byrne   





THAT Council write to the NSW Government requesting that it does not enter into any contract for the construction of WestConnex Stage 3B until after next year’s State Election.





Until now, the Government has not been able to undertake construction of the WestConnex Rozelle Interchange, with the single tender bid rejected by the Government in September 2017.


In November 2017, Sydney Motorway Corporation divided the M4-M5 Link into two separate packages of works - the Main Tunnel Works (Stage 3A) and Rozelle Interchange (Stage 3B).


Procurement for the project was then handed over to Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).


Council’s WestConnex Stage 3 Environmental Impact Statement, submission stated:


Council is concerned that recent uncertainties around construction of the Rozelle Interchange could lead to major changes to the staging and design of Stage 3.


Recent reports that the NSW Government was finding it difficult to procure a contractor to construct the Rozelle Interchange part of Stage 3.  This has reinforced Council’s prior concerns about the complex, difficult nature of this part of Stage 3 and the possibility that there will need to be significant design changes before the interchange could be feasibly constructed.  There is also the possibility that planning of the mainline tunnel and Rozelle Interchange components of the project may proceed separately. This highlights the concerns expressed elsewhere in this submission about the need for Council and community input into design changes.  Significant changes, including the splitting of Stage 3 into two separate parts, would require a new EIS.  Council does not want a situation where it has commented on a design that is significantly changed without its further input.  This would be contrary to the intent and possibly letter of the NSW planning system.


In May 2018, the NSW Government announced that the JCL Joint Venture (John Holland, CPB Contractors and Lendlease) and SCS Joint Venture (Salini Impregilo, Clough Projects and Samsung C&T) were shortlisted for the next stage of bidding to build the Interchange.


The RMS Project Director has stated at a community meeting, that it is likely that a decision on the contract will be made and announced in December.


Given the proximity of the State Election, it would be advisable for the current Government not to commit any incoming Government to a tender of this size, without the opportunity to review the design.


The NSW Opposition has committed to undertaking such a review and holding a judicial review into the project.