Around 500 people attended the Stop WestCONnex Community Rally in Rozelle on Sunday afternoon to call for a halt to the project and its Federal funding.
Speakers included Jamie Parker MP, Greens candidate for Grayndler Jim Casey, community activists, investigative journalist Professor Wendy Bacon and transport expert Dr Michelle Zeibots. Anthony Albanese MP was invited to speak but declined, and made a brief appearance after insisting he would only speak to residents individually.
“Residents were furious to hear how the Baird Government has lied to people about the ‘benefits’ of WestCONnex, when even its own figures show the tollway will fail to ease traffic congestion,” said WestCONnex Action Group (WAG) spokesperson Pauline Lockie.
“There was huge support for the rally’s call to halt the Federal funding of WestCONnex – and it was clear this issue will determine the way people vote in the election.
“Residents know that over $2 billion of the $3.5 billion Tony Abbott committed to WestCONnex is still yet to be paid – and that this funding can and should be halted to protect our money from being wasted on yet another failed Australian toll road,” said Ms Lockie.
The rally marked the continued growth in the campaign to stop the tollway, which in recent weeks has seen a number of residents arrested for taking peaceful direct action to protect homes and communities from WestCONnex destruction.
“People were flocking to us at the end of the rally to sign up and become actively involved in stopping WestCONnex,” said No WestConnex: Public Transport spokesperson Paul Jeffery.
“It is clear now that communities across the route are alive to this issue, they’re angry, and they’re prepared to stand their ground to save our city from WestCONnex – a sham tollway designed only to sell us out to toll road companies,” Mr Jeffery said.
Organisers: WestConnex Action Group, No WestConnex: Public Transport, Save Newtown from WestCONnex, Save Ashfield Park and Rozelle Against WestConnex.
Media contacts: Pauline Lockie 0414 470 106, Paul Jeffery 0410 636 663
Hi-res photos: Alana West 0421 336 365 or firstname.lastname@example.org