Last month the Department of Planning and Environment approved Stage three of the WestConnex, the M4-M5 link, for which there is still no actual engineering design, only a concept plan. With this approval it released a series of independent peer reviews, which were hardly complimentary of the way in which transport, air quality and groundwater impacts etc. had been assessed in the project’s environmental impact statement (see our previous blog). Despite the criticism the road has still received a green light from the Department ... an incredibly frustrating situation.
On 17 April 2018, the NSW Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts approved Stage 3 of WestConnex – the biggest, most expensive transport infrastructure project in the history of Australia.
But it was not until 10 days later, on Friday 27 April, that this approval was made public, with a quiet upload to a government website. Even then, the planning minister, Anthony Roberts, was unavailable for media interviews.
WAG can understand why the Gladys Berejiklian government doesn’t want to front the public to explain its absurd approval of this massive project. As yet, there is no actual engineering plan for Stage 3, just a concept design. And there are persistent doubts that the proposed underground Rozelle Interchange, a crucial part of Stage 3 of WestConnex, can even be built without massive additional cost to the taxpayer.
But that’s not even the worst bit. As we have always argued, WestConnex will not fix the traffic snarls and will make local traffic flows much worse. Air pollution will get worse at schools and childcare centres including Sydney Park Childcare, The Infants Home in Ashfield, St Peters Public School, Erskineville Public School, Camdenville Public School – the list goes on.
Yet the Berejiklian government approved it anyway, ignoring the advice of experts, and putting the health of children at risk. The peer reviews attached to Roberts' approval spell out some of the failings of the WestConnex project.
In February, NSW Planning published Westconnex's Response to 13,000 submissions objecting to or raising concerns about the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Stage 3. The response not only failed to answer the community's concerns, it also snubbed the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EIS) which had expressed strong concerns as well. In our second post on the report, we analyse noise impacts.
You can find our first response on air quality here.
On February 5th, NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) published a Response to 13,000 submissions objecting to or raising concerns about the Environmental Impact Statement ( EIS) for Stage 3 WestConnex. This post aims to provide our supporters with some impressions of what we have found in the thousands of pages of report so far. Our first report focuses on some air quality concerns
WestCONnex Action Group (WAG) today called on the Government to halt the sale of WestConnex and make all business case documents for planned tollways in Sydney public
Stop Westconnex campaigners today occupied the NSW Department of Planning and Environment building in Pitt Street, Sydney, calling on the Department to reject the Environmental Impact Statement for Stage 3 of the Westconnex tollway network.
Stage 3 WestCONnex consists of twin tunnels between St Peters and Haberfield and Rozelle, several massive construction sites and a huge three level interchange at Rozelle.
We have a new letter to the Secretary of Planning. This is the do gooder platform which is designed to automatically send letters to decision makers. IT WILL TAKE YOU JUST ONE MINUTE TO SIGN
On 22nd November at 8am, join politicians, community groups and residents who have signed the Open Letter Opposing WestCONnex as we deliver it to Gladys Berejiklian at Parliament House. More than 5,000 people have signed this letter calling for a halt to WestCONnex construction and an independent review of the whole sorry mess.
Statement by Coalition against WestConnex
The Coalition against WestConnex (CAW), a network of community groups opposed to WestConnex, has launched the People’s M4/M5 EIS.
The People’s M4/M5 EIS is a website designed to help people make submissions to NSW Planning, which is currently assessing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for WestConnex Stage 3, a tunnel between St Peters and Haberfield and Rozelle in Sydney's Inner West. Despite calls for a longer period, the public has been given only 60 days to respond to an EIS of 7000 pages.