University of Sydney Television Service
Produced and Directed by John Moyle
Written and Devised by Sharon Beder
The interview material has been compiled into four longer video tapes with minimal editing to enable students to access the full interviews if they wish.
The following themes and issues were explored through a series of interviews with supporters and opponents of the Tunnel and experts on environmental impact assessment and planning processes as well as experts employed by the proponents and the opponents.
Who makes the final decision, who is involved in the decision-making process and how much influence do various parties have on the process?
specifically - Who decided an EIS was necessary? Who was responsible for compiling the EIS? Who made submissions on it? What impact did those submissions have? Who assessed the EIS? What impact did that assessment have. Who was the determining authority? Was there any right of appeal? Was there any political influence on the final decision? What was the purpose of the 1987 Harbour Tunnel Act?
How is the scope of an EIS decided and what is covered in an EIS?
specifically - What matters were included in the EIS? To what extent was the need for a tunnel addressed? To what extent were wider transportation and planning issues addressed? Were alternatives considered in the EIS? What was required by the legislation to be included? What was required by the Department of Environment and Planning?
To what extent can bias creep into an EIS when it is commissioned by the proponent of a project and are there mechanisms to correct it?
specifically - What assumptions were made in the EIS? Were those assumptions reasonable? How did EIS predictions and cost/benefit figures differ from those of other experts? Why do experts differ? To what extent did assessment of the EIS correct any biases?
How do EIS's fit into the whole Environmental Impact Assessment process and into environmental planning in general?
specifically - What steps were taken from project conception to approval? To what extent did the EIS address other planning instruments such as the City of Sydney Plan, the North Sydney Plan, the Metropolitan Strategy for the Sydney Region and the Centres Policy?
Bruce Judd, Manager, Tunnel Project, Harbour Tunnel Group, Department of Main Roads, DMR. (The DMR is now the Roads and Traffic Authority, RTA).
25 minutes covers
why the tunnel was a good idea--DMR traffic projections--why there will be less congestion in the city with the Tunnel--accuracy of traffic projections--impact of toll on projections--impact of Tunnel on car use--impact of Tunnel on approach roads and on North Sydney--impact of Tunnel on public transport--DMR/RTA transport policy--cost-benefit analysis and road funding priorities--distribution of benefits--the issue of bias in the EIS --the assessment process and the independence of the DMR--how DMR dealt with submissions on EIS --political involvement--the EIS process in general
Emeritus Professor Ross Blunden, foundation Professor of Traffic Engineering, University of New South Wales.
15 minutes covers:
relationship between transport and land use --congestion and peak spreading--congestion causes more use of public transport--congestion causes rearrangement of land-use activities--time savings--the adequacy of the EIS --Tunnel will induce traffic--real issue - is the Tunnel justified?--political aspects--congestion part of life, can be a good thing--DMR as assessors of EIS--should have been a public inquiry--Greiner government promises--spreading of peakMr Jim Donovan, Action for Public Transport.
14 minutes covers:
their submission on the EIS--cost-benefit analysis--traffic induced by Tunnel--impact of Tunnel on public transport --traffic projections--need for better rail network--submission was not taken seriously--no review of desire for more roads--EIS process in general--government not governing--capacity of bridge with public transport--need for a public inquiry--the North Sydney Council inquiry--public participation--how their groups gets public attention
Mr Alf Neilson, Director, Wargon Chapman Partners, engineering consultants to Transfield-Kumagai Joint Venture.
31 minutes covers:
how idea of Tunnel came about --why it was a good idea--role of Wargon Chapman--impact of Tunnel on approach roads--impact of Tunnel on traffic in CBD--traffic projections--choice of route for Tunnel--private sector initiation of projects--tenders vs private section initiation--DMR/RTA as independent authority--EIS process in general--EIS as impediment to economic development--economic factors should not be part of EIS--public scrutiny
Dr John Gerofi, Enersol Consulting Engineers, Dr Gerofi conducted the North Sydney Municipal Council Inquiry.
20 minutes covers:
why North Sydney Council held its own inquiry--his submission on the EIS--DMR consideration of submissions--result of North Sydney inquiry--access to government documents--issue of bias in EIS process--Harbour Tunnel Act--various submissions of government departments--question of engineering ethics--cost-benefit analyses--the public transport alternative--impact of Tunnel on traffic in city--reserves of fuel and pollution--Harbour Tunnel Act and loss of Council powers--treatment of alternatives in EIS--political interference--public submissions and EIS process as steamroller
Professor David Hensher, Director, Research Centre, Graduate School of Management and Public Policy, University of Sydney.
18 minutes covers:
need for the Tunnel--relationship between transport and land-use--lack of planning and manipulation of government--traffic projections--impact of Tunnel on the CBD--impact of Tunnel on North Sydney--impact of Tunnel on approach roads--inclusion of economic factors in an EIS--cost-benefit analysis--use of his figures in cost-benefit analysis--Tunnel not part of a transport policy--impact of Tunnel on public transport--public submissions--use of old data for traffic projections--issue of bias in EIS--assessment by the DMR--independence of the DMR--bureaucracy and towing the line
Mr Alan Finlay, Manager Transport Policy, NRMA.
17 minutes covers:
NRMA submissions to Transfield-Kumagai--benefits of Tunnel--spreading of peak --need for predictability of journey times--Tunnel will provide a bypass of city--benefits to North Sydney --impact of Tunnel on approach roads--impact of Tunnel on public transport--pressure for parking in CBD--NRMA transport policy and how Tunnel fits with it--use of NRMA submission--problems with tendering process--benefits of Tunnel to economy--benefits to buses--problems from accidents on bridge--EIS process in general--issue of bias in EIS, scope for appeal--traffic projections, impact of the toll on traffic--distribution of benefits--affect of freeways on greenhouse effect--role of NRMA as lobby group
Mr Liam Bathgate, Public Affairs Manager, Sydney Harbour Tunnel Transfield-Kumagai Joint Venture.
24 minutes covers:
role of Transfield-Kumagai--why Tunnel is a good idea--problem of congestion and spreading of peak--traffic projections--review by DMR--DEP criticisms--impact of toll and petrol prices on traffic--impact of Tunnel on public transport--traffic generated by Tunnel--impact of Tunnel on approach roads--impact of Tunnel on CBD/North Sydney--how Tunnel fits in with broader transport strategy--cost-benefit analysis--distribution of costs and benefits--financing of the Tunnel--shortfall from toll revenue--alternatives to the Tunnel including light rail--issue of bias in EIS--Harbour Tunnel Act--promised public inquiry--North Sydney inquiry--role of media--resources available to opponents
Mr Richard Smyth, Richard Smyth Planning Consultants, former Director of the
Department of Environment and Planning.
25 minutes covers:
role of the DEP/DP--description of the EIS process--scope of Tunnel EIS--consideration of alternatives in EIS--issue of bias in EIS--DEP assessment of EIS--role of politics--DEP unpopular for assessment report--submissions on EIS--DMR as determining authority and their independence--cost-benefit analysis--reason for not holding public inquiry--Harbour Tunnel Act and appeal provisions--how EIS's fit into environmental planning--how Tunnel fit into regional plans--distribution of costs and benefits--issue of bias in EIS and independence of assessment--need for the Tunnel not addressed--traffic projections--benefit-cost ratio--wider transportation issues--objectives of an EIS--air emissions--issue of bias of consultants
Professor John Toon, Department of Urban & Regional Planning, University of Sydney.
30 minutes covers:
the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act--his role in shaping the legislation--the EIS process - how it works--designated development--council requirements--scope of an EIS--who prepares EIS--public scrutiny--issue of bias in EIS--Harbour Tunnel fits under part V of Act--role of DMR--political decision--who is determining authority--right of appeal on decision--Harbour Tunnel Act & use of special legislation--lobby groups--EIS process as impediment to economic development--how Tunnel fitted in with regional and local plans--traffic projections--dealing with peak loads--Metropolitan policy & distribution of jobs--distribution of benefits--assessment by DEP--why no public inquiry
Dr Dennis Zines, Principal, Manager, Environmental Projects, Sinclair Knight & Partners (EIS consultants).
22 minutes covers:
EIS as support document--what an EIS consultant does--how EIS consultants are chosen--relationship between proponent and consultant--probability of consultant getting ongoing work--issue of bias on part of consultant--clients involvement in writing EIS--unscrupulous proponents--checks and balances in the system--time limits and science in EISs--how cumulative impacts are dealt with by EIS--EIS process in general--the role of the media--do EISs hold up development
Dr Alan Jones, Research Scientist, Head of Division of Environmental Science, The Australian Museum.
14 minutes covers:
his role in EIS process for Tunnel--reason SPCC required further monitoring--uncertainties in EIS--inadequacies in EIS description of environment--advertising of EIS--adequacy of EIS science--issue of bias in EIS--need for public inquiry--difficulties for scientists giving advice--science and values--need for scientists to be more black and white--on-going monitoring after EIS--how cumulative impact dealt with in EIS
Mr Ted Mack, MP for North Sydney, then Mayor of North Sydney.
17 minutes covers:
opposition to increased car access to city--addiction to cars--congestion and limited parking as control mechanisms--congestion determines shape of city--North Sydney plan--parking philosophy in North Sydney--air pollution--attitudes of North Sydney residents--money to be made by proponents--North Sydney Council inquiry--politics--EIS process in general--issue of bias in EIS process--North Sydney Council submission on EIS--precinct committees in North Sydney--Harbour Tunnel Act
Ms Jenny Corner, spokesperson for Save Our Sydney, North Shore resident and Ms Alison Lloyd, North Shore resident.
22 minutes covers:
formation of Save Our Sydney--community reaction and concern about the Tunnel--main concerns of local residents--issue of planning--impact of Tunnel on public transport--impact of traffic on locality--the Harbour Tunnel Act--concrete batching plant--input of submissions--decision already made--advertising of EIS--EIS just sales document--accessibility of EIS--politics and promised public inquiry--general community feeling--EIS process in general--public participation--role of Save Our Sydney--how SOS went about educating public--role of media--demonstration by residents
Ms Caron Morrison, spokesperson for Coalition for Urban Transport Sanity.
20 minutes covers:
environmental problems from increased traffic--health and social problems from increased traffic--need for the Tunnel--extra traffic generated by the Tunnel--increased parking--air pollution in the West--traffic and the Greenhouse Effect--public participation and EIS process--issue of bias with EIS process--need for auditing and monitoring after EIS--how cumulative effects are dealt with in EISs--congestion and the need for mobility--social responsibility vs need--CUTS approach--DMR/ RTA transport policy --role of NRMA--EIS process in general--need for more public participation--auditing of promises made in EISs--politics and what the community really wants.
Return to publications list