WESTCONNEX Delivery Authority (WDA) has started to dig up large deposits of asbestos in St Peters despite not having the appropriate environmental impact assessments needed to clear the project for the health and safety of hundreds of thousands of Sydney residents.
Residents received a notice from the WDA to say that work on the toxic Alexandria Landfill has begun ahead of the environmental impact statement (EIS).
“It is just callous to push ahead with the dangerous removal of this much asbestos in densely populated suburbs,” said WestCONnex Action Group spokesperson Janet Dandy-Ward.
“City of Sydney council meetings revealed there are around 70 Olympic swimming pools’ worth of asbestos in the Alexandria Landfill, which is very dangerous and costly to the taxpayer to remove.
“There will be truckload after truckload of asbestos dug up, then transported straight past thousands of families’ homes, local schools and hospitals between St Peters and Eastern Creek.
“This makes a mockery of the planning process, as the Director-General’s requirements for the WestCONnex New M5 EIS clearly state that it must include an assessment of the site, so we know exactly what toxic waste is there before it’s dug up and what will happen to it if it’s disturbed.
“We were also told by the Environmental Protection Authority that they gave ‘verbal approval’ for this work togo ahead. Since when did any government department give ‘verbal approval’ for such deadly and costly work?
“We know from the James Hardie debacle that it’s impossible to properly contain the deadly micro fibres of asbestos that kill people, as we tragically saw with Bernie Banton.
“WestCONnex is playing with our health; they are flouting planning laws; they are flouting environmental laws, and it is just mind-boggling that the Baird-Abbott Governments are happy to risk entire suburbs of Bernie Bantons on their watch.
“The processes surrounding WestCONnex have been exposed as utterly corrupt where this Government can ignore the proper procedures put in place to protect us – all for a dodgy toll road.
“The Baird-Abbott Governments should hang their heads in shame over the lack of transparency around WestCONnex, and history will be very unkind to the players involved when a full and proper inquiry exposes what is happening,” said Ms Dandy-Ward.
Media Contact: Garth Montgomery 0408 864 851, Pauline Lockie 0414 470106