Council calls for Royal Commission to look into operations of Transport for NSW and RMS

Hawkesbury Council will write to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to call for a Royal Commision to be set up into the operations of both Transport for NSW and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).

Cr John Ross submitted a notice of motion to the July 31 council meeting requesting council join 24 community organisations who rallied at Thompson Square on July 22 to call on Ms Berejiklian to institute the Royal Commission. 

Commission call: The majority of councillors supported a call by Cr Ross for a Royal Commission into TfNSW and the RMS. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Commission call: The majority of councillors supported a call by Cr Ross for a Royal Commission into TfNSW and the RMS. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Cr Ross cited problems with the rail network as well as the recent road corridor announcements as reasons for a Royal Commission.

Cr Ross cited problems with the rail network as well as the recent road corridor announcements as reasons for a Royal Commission.

“There is no over-arching planning in these matters,” he said. “The road corridor situation is eminently visible within this local government area.”

Three public speakers also supported the move, with CAWB president Harry Terry denying it was a “stunt” to delay the Windsor Bridge Replacement Project, and wasn’t about party politics.

“The call for a Royal Commission is about the concerns by a growing number of groups across the state regarding the operation of Transport for NSW, which of course encompasses the RMS,” he told the meeting.  “Every councillor must be concerned about the operation of these bodies.”

Speaker Kate Mackaness told the council the state had a transport problem, which was particularly evident locally. 

“The Hawkesbury has been neglected for far too long and, in absence of evidence to the contrary, appears to be the victim of unbelievably poor transport planning, and we are entitled to know why,” she said.

“Supporting the call for a Royal Commission into transport infrastructure planning and delivery is in the best interests of NSW and in the very best interests of the Hawkesbury.”

However, Cr Nathan Zamprogno said he would not support the call because a Royal Comission was “not the appropriate remedy for issues relating to transport planning in NSW”.

“A Royal Commission exercises some of the functions of the judiciary, of a court, with one important exception; they don’t exercise the function of judicial power, which is deciding or determining something,” he said.

“I think it’s the wrong remedy if there is something to be said about the way that transport planning is done in this state.”

The notice of motion was carried to a smattering of applause in the council chamber.