PREMIER Mike Baird has finally agreed to meet with residents campaigning against WestCONnex after they staged a sit-in at NSW Parliament House this afternoon.
Three residents entered the viewing gallery at the start of Question Time and attempted to drop a banner that read “No WestCONnex / Baird it’s time to listen”. The trio then chanted “No WestConnex” and informed ministers that dozens of residents were sitting in the Fountain Court waiting for Premier Baird to come out and speak to them. They were escorted out of the gallery by security.
The sit-in went for over an hour. Residents agreed to leave after being told they would be forcibly removed by police, and that Premier Baird had promised to meet with them.
“Opposition to the disastrous WestCONnex toll road is rising by the day, but Premier Baird has refused to listen to legitimate community concerns,” said No WestConnex spokesperson Paul Jeffery.
“Instead, he’s allowed secretive private companies to take control of billions of dollars of our money, and make huge decisions that will affect the future of our city without any transparency whatsoever.
“By allowing private tollway interests to hijack the WestCONnex planning process, Baird has turned this $17 billion publicly funded project into an undemocratic farce,” said Mr Jeffery.
“Premier Baird has refused to even consider independent evidence that WestCONnex will fail western Sydney, worsen our costly traffic congestion, and divide rather than connect communities,” said WestCONnex Action Group spokesperson Anne Picot.
“That’s why we brought our campaign into parliament itself. Mike Baird wasn’t listening to the community, so we brought the community to him.
“We look forward to meeting with Premier Baird to discuss our call for an immediate halt to all work on WestCONnex, and for a public inquiry into how this destructive and poorly planned project got so far without any accountability, transparency, or consideration of its disastrous impact on Sydney,” said Ms Picot.
Media contacts: Paul Jeffery 0410 636 663, Anne Picot 0404 090 710
Footage, photos: dropbox.com/sh/ccyfcts728fq52n/AACKfmPVzKAamRO_k9IJBZT8a?dl=0