MAJOR transport projects like the northern distributor should have a regional focus instead of being left to local councils, a veteran transport lobbyist says.
Graham Dun is a former member of the Central West Highway Safety Action Group and believes there should be a move away from parochialism and instead greater regional input into transport.
He said the state is plagued by lack of planning and waste when it comes to roads and transport.
“Anything to do with highway systems should be regional because it’s providing for regional connections not local connections,” he said.
“When you go to build a house someone from the planning department from local council looks through everything, but when you go to build a four-lane highway those people are nowhere to be seen until it’s too late and they demand an EIS (environmental impact statement).”
He said Orange’s bypass should have been established for people travelling through city not for locals trying to get from east to west.
Mr Dun has set-up a website the Central West Transport Forum and hopes to attract like minded community members keen to lobby both tiers of government for a better deal for regional transport.
“I’m disappointed the public aren’t interested,” he said.
“A lot of people say ‘it’s a council problem let council deal with it’ but it’s not, it’s a regional problem.”
He said Orange’s bypass should be taken over by the Roads and Maritimes Services (RMS) and become the Mitchell Highway.
Mr Dun said road development should focus on saving time and energy for drivers and improving safety.
The community-orientated highway safety group was effective when the government was realigning Mount Lambie, Mr Dun said, but later lost momentum.
“We need some sort of proper organisation of road users,” he said.
“[The RMS] doesn’t have any sort of liaison group or advisory committee on a regional scale that you can go and talk to.”