The Hon. DUNCAN GAY: My question without notice is addressed to the Minister for Roads. Does the Minister recall his comment that Sydney's traffic gridlock is no worse than it was a decade ago? What was his reasoning behind this comment, given that Sydney motorists spend hours each day stuck in traffic, and given a recent report that indicated that traffic congestion will increase by another 50 per cent within 20 years? Why does the Minister continue to be in denial about Sydney's traffic woes?
The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL: As I have said before, traffic congestion, particularly during peak periods, is one of the major challenges we face. The Government is constantly looking at ways of improving traffic flows, and I am always happy to hear sensible ideas. I understand the frustrations of motorists. Sydney is a big international city, and the fact is that the peak is getting longer and people are commuting further. There are an extra one million vehicles and an extra 660,000 drivers on our roads since 1996. That is 16 per cent more drivers and 26 per cent more cars in 10 years. That is why we are investing $660 million to address traffic congestion and increase public transport use under the Urban Transport Statement.
The Hon. Duncan Gay: Point of order: The question was specific. What was the reasoning behind the Minister's comment that Sydney traffic is no worse than it was a decade ago. The Minister has not got within a bull's roar of answering the question before the House. People in New South Wales will be interested to hear the Minister's rationale for that stupid statement.
THE PRESIDENT: Order! There is no point of order.
The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL: For example, Victoria Road is a trouble spot, and the Government is spending $100 million to duplicate the Iron Cove Bridge and extend bus lanes through Drummoyne and Rozelle.
The Hon. Duncan Gay: Point of order: This point of order is on the same grounds as my previous one.
THE PRESIDENT: Order! Again, there is no point of order.
The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL: We are also investing $100 million to directly target traffic hot spots on our road network and a further $100 million to accelerate bus priority works on strategic bus corridors. In fact, the Government is investing $27 million a day to improve infrastructure across New South Wales, including the road network. We have seen improvements in our road network: the WestLink-M7 corridor, the new Lane Cove Tunnel and expanded Gore Hill freeway, the $500 million upgrade of Windsor Road and the $534 million north-west transitway. We have increased the number of kilometres of bus lanes and transit lanes by more than 250 per cent since 1996. We know there is more to do, and we will continue to work hard to improve the road network and the public transport system.