WESTCONNEX Action Group (WAG) has slammed the Baird government’s latest changes to the WestCONnex tollway, saying they expose the farcical planning process behind the $17 billion project.
Under new plans announced today, the tollway’s Camperdown interchange will be scrapped, and the M4-M5 Link tunnel widened and moved further west.
“These latest changes show yet again that the Baird government’s so-called ‘planning’ for WestCONnex is a complete farce,” said WAG spokesperson Pauline Lockie.
“Mike Baird and Duncan Gay are making up their disastrous WestCONnex tollway as they go along, and wasting billions of our taxpayer dollars as they do so.
“Anyone could see that putting a WestCONnex interchange next to RPA and the University of Sydney, which would have dumped 36,000 cars onto Parramatta Road, was always going to be a stupid idea.
“But the WestCONnex interchanges at St Peters, Rozelle and Concord are just as stupid. They’ll also cause massive amounts of destruction, traffic and pollution – and see drivers from western Sydney pay huge tolls to drive straight into inner-city traffic jams.”
Ms Lockie said the sudden removal of the Camperdown interchange also raised huge questions about the viability of the overall WestCONnex project.
“Duncan Gay promised us that the WestCONnex M4-M5 Link would be the ‘magic tunnel’ that turned Newtown into traffic ‘nirvana’,” said Ms Lockie.
“But now drivers who go through the WestCONnex St Peters Interchange will have to exit there if they want to go to the city. That’s going to dump more traffic into Newtown, not less.
“Residents around Rozelle will also have to deal with thousands of extra cars coming out of WestCONnex onto the already gridlocked Victoria Road and Anzac Bridge.
“The WestCONnex business case was based on there being an interchange at Camperdown. So what happens now that there’s one less exit for toll-paying drivers to use?
“And how can the M4-M5 Link tunnel change so much without changing the cost of WestCONnex? The Baird government is treating the public with contempt if it expects us to swallow that.
“It’s outrageous that the Baird government has wasted billions of our taxpayer dollars on WestCONnex when it knows this tollway will never work. WestCONnex should be halted immediately and a full inquiry held before more of our money is wasted, and more of Sydney destroyed,” said Ms Lockie.
Media contacts: Pauline Lockie 0414 470 106, Rhea Liebmann 0410 517 343