An incredible year - thanks to you

As 2015 draws to a close, we want to say THANK YOU for all the support you’ve given us, and let you know what's been achieved with your help.

January

  • WestCONnex Action Group (WAG) members hit the media after 41 households in St Peters are told their homes will be acquired for WestCONnex.
  • WestCONnex admits it was in acquisition negotiations with owners of the Alexandria Landfill in St Peters for months before it told residents about its plans.
  • WAG in the news:

February

  • Following December’s successful Campbell St protest, we team up with Reclaim the Streets again to organise King St Crawl to Stop WestCONnex. Over 3,000 people march down Newtown’s main street.
  • WestCONnex tries to quell opposition by holding a meeting at the Enmore Theatre, but its CEO and New M5 Project Director’s claims are slammed by a hostile crowd.
  • St Peters resident Dr Peter Ross is arrested and charged with trespass after chaining himself to a WestCONnex drill.
  • WAG in the news:

March 

  • Residents stage a peaceful sit-in protest at WestCONnex’s ‘community consultation’ session in St Peters after failing to get answers to their questions. WestCONnex staff respond by calling police.
  • Roads Minister Duncan Gay starts to personally attack residents opposed to WestCONnex, labeling us “lefty trendies in the inner suburbs”.
  • Dr Peter Ross is given a six-month good behaviour bond for chaining himself to a WestCONnex drill. No fine or conviction is recorded.
  • City of Sydney hosts a packed public meeting to stop WestCONnex. We hold a pop-up rally in support on the Town Hall steps.
  • WestCONnex proves a decisive factor in the state election, with key inner west seats won by candidates opposed to the toll road.
  • WAG in the news:

Q1_2015.jpg
April

  • We gatecrash a lunch held by lobby group Roads Australia at which WestCONnex CEO Dennis Cliche was speaking, prompting him to attack residents for having “this attitude of ‘I love my community don't mess it up’”.
  • WAG in the news:
    • Roads Australia protests: SMHAltMedia
    • Tolls: 2UE (Stuart Bocking)

May 

  • We protest Roads Australia’s gala dinner by making guests ‘rat run’ our specially constructed toll gate.
  • Duncan Gay again insults residents opposed to WestCONnex.
  • Marrickville Council passes a motion officially opposing WestCONnex.
  • Residents stage protests at WestCONnex’s ‘community consultation’ sessions in Concord and Kingsgrove, as well as Beverly Hills.
  • WAG in the news:

June 

  • Hundreds of SW Sydney residents attend WAG Beverly Hills/Kingsgrove’s standing room-only public meeting to stop WestCONnex.
  • We hit the media in response to newly revealed plans for the WestCONnex M4 East and the New M5’s unfiltered pollution stack at Kingsgrove.
  • Our spokesperson Pauline Lockie speaks at Politics in the Pub’s WestCONnex event alongside Prof Wendy Bacon and Jenny Leong MP.
  • WAG in the news:

Q2_2015.jpg
July

  • We team up with Reclaim the Streets again for Jurassic Car Park, a walking tour of the parts of St Peters WestCONnex wants to destroy.
  • WAG Newtown launches its “Save Newtown Stop WestCONnex” shop sign campaign. To date, over 220 businesses have displayed the sign in their windows.
  • Our campaigners hold information stalls at WestCONnex’s ‘community consultation’ sessions.
  • We hold the WestCONnex Independence Day rally in Concord.
  • More residents speak out about the Baird Government’s appalling undervaluing of properties it's forcibly acquiring for WestCONnex.
  • WestCONnex reveals plans for a pollution stack, entry/exit portal and construction site at Kogarah Golf Club in Arncliffe, home to a colony of endangered Green and Golden Bell Frogs. Hundreds of people make submissions to the Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt in protest.
  • WAG in the news:

August

  • We hold a cake stall outside WestCONnex’s office in North Sydney to raise money for its extortionate freedom of information fees.
  • Residents blockade the Alexandria Landfill in St Peters after WestCONnex starts removing deadly asbestos ahead of the EIS, and contractors are seen breaching basic health and safety procedures. In response, Duncan Gay calls them “nasty little anarchists”.
  • The Newtown Neighbourhood Centre is packed to capacity for WAG Newtown’s public meeting to stop WestCONnex.
  • WAG in the news:

September

  • A residents’ blockade shuts down WestCONnex asbestos removal work in St Peters a second time. Protests continue at the site on a rolling basis.
  • Marrickville Council reaffirms its opposition to WestCONnex and seeks legal advice about whether it can shut down this asbestos removal.
  • WAG members feature heavily in media stories about newly released designs for the WestCONnex New M5 and the release of the M4 East environmental impact statement (EIS).
  • Haberfield / Ashfield residents march from Haberfield Public School to a nearby Parramatta Rd pedestrian bridge and occupy it in protest.
  • Haberfield residents stop WestCONnex surveyors multiple times.
  • Malcolm Turnbull takes over from Tony Abbott as Prime Minister. We immediately launch a campaign to ask him to stop funding WestCONnex, which hundreds of people have now used to email him.
  • WAG in the news:

Q3_2015_2.jpg
October

  • Ashfield residents shut down an unauthorised WestCONnex drill site.
  • Residents stage a WestCONnex protest on Haberfield's Model T Ford day to highlight the toll road’s heritage destruction.
  • Jenny Leong submits the WestCONnex community petition to NSW Parliament after more than 10,000 people across NSW call for a halt to the toll road. Most were collected by our members, who ran months of street stalls and spoke to thousands of people about WestCONnex.
  • WAG in the news:

November

  • Almost 4,800 submissions are made objecting to the WestCONnex M4 East. Over 2,200 came from our street stall and online campaigns, which made it easy for people make detailed, well-informed submissions.
  • Residents pack the public gallery of NSW Parliament to witness the WestCONnex debate triggered by the community petition.
  • Premier Baird bows to public pressure and releases a heavily redacted version of the WestCONnex business case, which reveals a cost blowout of almost $7bn to $16.8bn. Media coverage was overwhelmingly negative.
  • WAG in the news:

December

  • Hundreds of people rally in Haberfield, Sydney Park and Kingsgrove for our UPROOTED family picnic and tree-wrapping events.
  • Trees and homes across the toll road route are wrapped in WestCONnex-blue ribbons to highlight its trail of destruction.
  • Kingsgrove parents and children hold a snap protest outside McCallums Hill Public School to highlight the toll road’s toxic effect on SW Sydney kids.
  • WAG in the news:

Q4_2015.jpg
What’s next?
 

With the Baird Government doing everything it can to push WestCONnex through, we know we need to make our 2016 campaign even bigger if we’re to stop this toll road. 

So if you haven’t already, it would be wonderful if you could please donate to our Christmas Appeal. We’ve already achieved so much thanks to your help – and with your continued support, we know we can go all the way.

On behalf of everyone here at WAG, thank you again for everything you’re doing. We all wish you a safe and happy Christmas and a fantastic New Year.

Together we can stop WestCONnex!


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