In Australia, state and federal based infrastructure agencies require business cases to be developed to demonstrate that public investment decisions about major transport infrastructure projects are an economically efficient use of society’s resources (Infrastructure Australia, no date, Infrastructure Victoria, no date; Infrastructure NSW, 2012). However, reports from third party authorities such as the Victorian Auditor-General (2015) on the recently cancelled East West Link toll road in Melbourne and by SGS Economics and Planning (2016) on the currently proposed WestConnex project in Sydney raises questions about the extent to which all significant planning considerations are properly evaluated in these business cases. Given the political (Legacy, forthcoming) and even antagonistic approach governments have had towards transportation planning across several Australia states in recent years (Legacy et al, 2017), compounded by efforts by project proponents to misrepresent the costs and benefits of major projects (Flyvbjerg, 2007), there is a danger that planning factors that may sit in tension with proposed projects are downplayed or ignored within business cases. This produces a ‘distancing’ of transport infrastructure decisions from their wider land use and city-shaping possibilities (see Dodson, 2009 and also Dodson 2017). This paper uses Sydney’s WestConnex motorway business case to examine this tension, and the role the business case plays in exacerbating this ‘distancing’.