On 28 August NSW Minister for Roads said the NSW Government was prepared to pay the owners of the Lane Cove Tunnel EXTRA to avoid the fiasco that occurred with the Cross City Tunnel. (remember the closed roads/lanes, the funnelling so people paid more money to the operators, the compensation sought from taxpayer funds, the greed ....)
Minister Eric Roozendaal is very mindful that there is a State election in March 2007! He wants to avoid upsetting the voters, especially those that do/will use those roads. I'm sure he is mindful of the bad press the Liberal Party is getting over branch-stacking in parts of nothern and north-western Sydney, and that the Labor Party just might pick up some votes there.
The Minister was reported in the SMH as saying "The Government is committed to getting this project right from day one so that it works properly." Too late - day 1 of the project has long since passed, and, again the NSW Labor Government agreed to compensation clauses - with OUR MONEY! If a private company decides to invest in toll roads, it needs to bear the risk, as well.
People have asked this before, but "Why is the State Govvernment agreeing to unreasonable terms, especially those that require lane closures on PUBLIC ROADS??"
The State Government, of whatever party, must clarify policies to stop us taxpayers getting screwed by private companies that want to make a quick buck from us motorists. (most companies borrow to pay inflated dividends in early years, to benefit the individual owners)