THE COALITION Against WestConnex (CAW), a network of community groups opposed to WestConnex, notes that on 23 November 2017 the NSW Planning Department published a record breaking 13,000+ submissions on the WestConnex Stage 3 EIS, and the overwhelming rejection of the project by City of Sydney and Inner West Councils, community groups and other organisations.
However, CAW is concerned that the Department has deliberately downplayed the breadth and depth of community opposition by stating in its media release that submissions were mainly coordinated by CAW which it described as a “a local group” opposed to the project.
“As the Department should have been aware, this is a misrepresentation. CAW’s own submission clearly stated that CAW is a network of 11 groups opposed to Westconnex. These 11 groups, which represent thousands of residents across Sydney, were listed in our submission.”
"We demand that the Planning Department issue an immediate correction to their media release on its website by removing the reference to a 'local group’. The Department must acknowledge the extent of opposition to WestConnex across Sydney,” said Rhea Liebmann, member of WestCONnex Action Group and CAW spokesperson.
In checking their submissions published on the Planning website, CAW members also discovered that a number of submissions have not been published.
A convener of Rozelle Against WestConnex (RAW) who rang the Department to complain was told that the failure to publish part of their submission was due to “human error”.
“This is not good enough and once again highlights the inadequate community consultation processes which have been a fundamental flaw in the project since it was first announced. We are concerned that if our members have been quickly able to identify missing submissions, there may be many more missing.”
“How can the public have confidence that the Department will conduct a 'thorough assessment of the merits of the project' as it promises in its media release? It is clear that the approval processed is being rushed and the Department pressured to push the approval through.” said Rhea Liebmann
Department of Planning Media Release:
Rhea Liebmann, WestCONnex Action Group, 0410 517 343
Members of the Coalition Against WestCONnex:
Camperdown Residents Against WestConnex (CRAW)
Leichhardt Against WestCONnex (LAW)
Newtown Residents Against WestConnex (NRAW)
No WestConnex Annandale
No WestCONnex: Public Transport (NoWPT)
Rozelle Against WestConnex (RAW)
Save Ashfield Park (SAP)
Save Newtown from WestConnex
Stop WestConnex - Glebe and Forest Lodge
WestCON Community Action Group Haberfield/Ashfield
WestCONnex Action Group (WAG)