Chamber describes tunnel as economic game-changer
The Peninsula Chamber of Commerce has described the NorthConnex tunnel project as "an economic game-changer" for the Peninsula.
The comments from Chamber president Mr Matthew Wales follow a site inspection with Member for Terrigal Mr Adam Crouch and Member of the Legislative Council Mr Taylor Martin.
After the visit, Mr Wales praised the NSW State Government on "its commitment to the Central Coast".
"It was clear from today's site inspection that the $3 billion nine kilometre NorthConnex tunnel project is going to mean significant savings on travel times and transport costs between the Central Coast and Sydney by linking the M1 at Wahroonga to the M2 at West Pennant Hills eliminating 21 sets of traffic lights along Pennant Hills Rd," Mr Wales said.
"It will also make the Woy Woy area and the wider Central Coast more accessible to Sydneysiders and those who want to invest and do business in our area.
"The completion of the project by mid-2020 will also present major economic opportunities to the Central Coast as Sydney-based businesses look to the area for investment and relocation with lower business operating costs compared to Sydney", said Mr Wales.
"This is also an opportunity for the Central Coast Council and the NSW State Government to encourage business investment by promoting the advantages of NorthConnex and therefore creating local employment opportunities.
"By highlighting the lower cost of operating a business, the large pool of local skilled workers and the highly attractive lifestyle on the Central Coast, all levels of government have the potential to boost local jobs and stop the daily migration of workers into the Sydney metro area", said Mr Wales.
"NorthConnex won't only make it easier to get to Sydney, it will also make Sydney easier to get to the Central Coast.
"As a region, we need to capitalise on this new connectivity and reap the benefits.
"Although there will be a toll charge for users of the NorthConnex, we are pleased that the NSW State Government has introduced a Toll Relief program where free car registration will be given to owners of privately registered light vehicles if they've spent $25 or more per week on one tag or tagless account.
"Alternatively, motorists will still be able to use Pennant Hills Rd which will have significantly less traffic once NorthConnex opens," said Mr Wales.
"In particular, NorthConnex will make the Peninsula more accessible, presenting opportunities for the local tourism industry by taking advantage of our beautiful beaches, National Parks and local cafe restaurant precincts.
"There are huge advantages to NorthConnex including a saving of up to 30 minutes in travel time, the removal of semi-trailers off Pennant Hills Rd, improved connectivity and a massive reduction in noise pollution.
"It's also important to note that while the tunnel will have two lanes in both directions, it has been constructed to accommodate a third lane into the future.
"With the completion date due in mid-2020, it's up to the Central Coast as a region to recognise these opportunities and ensure that the Council and all State and Federal agencies direct resources to the promotion of the business and tourism opportunities resulting from the NorthConnex project," Mr Wales said.
Media release, 5 Feb 2019
Matthew Wales, Peninsula Chamber of Commerce