Planning approval fast-tracked for new M12 motorway in Sydney

The M12 has been given the green light after receiving fast-tracked planning approval under the New South Wales Government’s COVID-19 economic recovery program.

The approval of the motorway as part of the Priority Assessment Program is a major step towards delivering direct access to the new Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport.

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said this approval means both governments can get on with delivering this jobs-generating project.

“The M12 Motorway, which is majority funded by the Morrison Government, will support more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs during its delivery,” Minister Fletcher said.

“Work on this major project is expected to start in 2022 and importantly, be completed prior to the Western Sydney International Airport opening in 2026, providing safer and faster access to key employment hubs across Western Sydney and around the new airport.”

NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads and Acting Minister for Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the M12 is the east-west spine for the Aerotropolis precinct that will improve the connection between Western Sydney, the rest of the city and beyond.

“The 16-kilometre corridor between the M7 Motorway at Cecil Hills and The Northern Road at Luddenham will not only provide access to the Western Sydney International Airport but will also link residential areas with job hubs and connect travellers with the rest of Sydney,” Mr Toole said.

“Road capacity will increase, congestion and travel times will be reduced, and freight movements in and through Western Sydney will be improved.

“The M12 will open with two lanes in each direction and be future-proofed to allow an extra lane to be added each way to cater for future growth and development.”

NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said changes to the plans as a result of community feedback during extensive consultation have improved the design.

“These changes will benefit the local community through greater connectivity, improved access, and provide an additional toll-free option for drivers.”

“Conditions of the project include the delivery of a new cycle way from the M7 to The Northern Road, heritage and biodiversity protections and the requirement for a two-to-one tree replacement that will result in a net gain of 1,000 trees,” Mr Stokes said.

“The Priority Assessment Program was set up to deliver jobs, investment and major infrastructure projects in the wake of the pandemic, and I’m delighted that the M12 is now included in that.

“Improving access also means our local small businesses can showcase their Aussie-made products to Australia and the world.”

The project is jointly funded on an 80:20 basis, with the Morrison Government committing over $1.6 billion and the NSW Government over $400 million.