HUNDREDS of residents attended a snap rally in Alexandria on Saturday to call on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to halt plans to turn Euston Rd into a seven-lane highway as part of work for the WestCONnex St Peters Interchange.
The plans would take the road within two metres of 95-125 Euston Rd, where over 90 townhouses and apartments housing hundreds of residents have been built.
Speakers included Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Greens MPs Jamie Parker and Mehreen Faruqi, Euston Rd resident Paul Davies, and WestCONnex Action Group (WAG) spokesperson Rhea Liebmann.
All speakers drew loud cheers as they condemned the overall tollway project, with Lord Mayor Clover Moore describing WestCONnex as “environmentally, socially and financially a scandal”.
“I’m still hopeful that this stage [of WestCONnex] can be changed. To that end, I’ll be seeing the Premier next week,” the Lord Mayor told the crowd.
Residents at the rally also vowed to return to the site on Wednesday 26 April after WestCONnex announced plans to destroy over 70 trees in front of these homes from 7am that day. Public submissions on the WestCONnex New M5 Urban Design and Landscape Plan do not close until 30 April.
“It is just so hypocritical of WestCONnex to say they are still consulting on urban design and then announce they’ll cut down all our trees on Wednesday,” said Euston Rd resident Carmel Delprat, one of the rally’s organisers.
“These trees act as a safety barrier, a privacy screen, and much-needed green lungs for the hundreds of men, women and children who live in these homes on Euston Rd.
“It’s time for Premier Berejiklian to step in and halt this destructive project. If she doesn’t, this rally’s huge turnout shows residents will be prepared to fight every step of the way,” said Ms Delprat.
“Once again, the Berejiklian government has shown its contempt for residents by planning to destroy these trees while its WestCONnex New M5 urban design plans are still open for public consultation,” said WAG spokesperson Rhea Liebmann.
“It is completely unacceptable for the Berejiklian government to do this, and to put residents’ lives in danger by bringing a seven-lane highway and 60,000 cars a day so close to people’s homes.
“That’s why we’ll be standing with residents to oppose these plans. Like the rest of WestCONnex, they won’t bust traffic congestion. They’ll simply see people in western Sydney pay huge tolls to drive straight into inner-city traffic jams,” said Ms Liebmann.
Media contacts: Carmel Delprat 0404 090 938, Rhea Liebmann 0410 517 343
Photos: bit.ly/alexrallypics (contact Ms Liebmann for high-res versions)
Videos: bit.ly/alexrallyvids (Speeches by Clover Moore, Paul Davies, Jess Miller, Jamie Parker, Mehreen Faruqi)