ITU WORLD TRIATHLON SERIES
The Hon. MELINDA PAVEY:
My question is addressed to the Minister for Roads and Ports. Will the Minister update the House on the upcoming ITU Triathlon?
The Hon. DUNCAN GAY:
I thank the honourable member for her question. We know a well-known participant who last weekend travelled 45 kilometres in a marathon between Red Rock and Coffs Harbour. I note that there are no members of The Greens here in the House at question time, and that is a pity. The ITU Triathlon is taking place in Sydney on the weekend of 14 and 15 April. The ITU World Triathlon Series attracts elite athletes from around the world competing in events held in eight major global cities, beginning with Sydney in April. The New South Wales Government understands the importance of these events to Sydney, but it is absolutely essential that they are managed properly. The contract between Destination NSW and the event organiser to hold this event in Sydney's central business district was entered into by the former Labor Government and locks us into holding the event around Sydney Harbour.
Last year we experienced some heavy disruptions to traffic on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and in the Sydney central business district. Due to this disruption the Government last year held negotiations with the event organiser to examine the possibility of relocating the triathlon to western Sydney or changing its structure to allow better traffic management. Unfortunately, under the deal signed by Labor, it was not possible to get out of the contract without significant cost ramifications. Whilst we could not change the event location, we have learnt from last year's problems. The days of ad hoc planning for major events are over. The focus of all government agencies and organisers has been to change key aspects this year to reduce the impact on traffic. Changing the Government was important.
Order! I call the Hon. Lynda Voltz to order for the first time.
The Hon. DUNCAN GAY:
A review of the traffic management operations and problems that have occurred has taken place and a number of significant changes have been incorporated for the 2012 event. This year the Harbour Bridge and the Cahill Expressway will both reopen at 11.00 a.m. This is a major and welcome change. One of the main issues last year was that the Cahill Expressway remained closed for most of the day after the bridge reopened, forcing many vehicles into the northern part of the central business district. Road closures and special event clearways will be in place in the Sydney central business district during the morning of Saturday 14 April and Sunday 15 April 2012.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Cahill Expressway will be closed on the Sunday morning only. An extensive communications plan has been prepared to notify road users, local residents and businesses affected by road closures and special event clearways. During the running of both days of the event a joint operations centre will be in place with staff managing the road closures and traffic condition. The Government co-ordination centre also will be in operation. I encourage motorists to heed these warnings and avoid the city if possible.
The Hon. MICHAEL GALLACHER:
I suggest if members have further questions that they put them on notice.