HUNDREDS of people packed into the Save Newtown Stop WestCONnex public meeting held by the Newtown branch of the WestCONnex Action Group (WAG) and supported by the Newtown Precinct Business Association last night.
“People were just gobsmacked to hear about how the $15.4 billion WestCONnex toll road is being rammed through by the Baird Government despite the project having no business case,” said WAG Newtown spokesperson Lorrie Graham.
“They were utterly shocked to hear that hundreds of homes, businesses and communities will be destroyed for this project without any justification or genuine community consultation.
“We heard from King St business owners about the devastating impact extended clearways would have on Newtown’s iconic retail precinct, and why we can’t trust Roads Minister Duncan Gay when he says there’ll be no increase in King St clearways if WestCONnex goes ahead.
“Once WestCONnex starts dumping thousands of extra cars into our already gridlocked streets, more clearways will be inevitable – and that’s a slow creep to the death of Newtown.
“Professor Paul Torzillo from RPA also shocked people when he explained how traffic pollution would increase in the areas around WestCONnex – and that this pollution is linked to cancers, respiratory diseases and impaired lung development in children.
“But residents were particularly appalled to hear that WestCONnex is charging ahead with removing tonnes of asbestos from the Alexandria Landfill – the site of the proposed St Peters Interchange – ahead of the environmental impact statement (EIS).
“The thought of having truckloads of deadly asbestos being driven past our homes, schools and businesses without any transparency whatsoever just horrified people, who couldn’t believe WestCONnex was being allowed to do this before the EIS.”
Meeting attendees were urged to phone, email and write to their local members to ask them to stop WestCONnex.
“The written statement we received from our federal MP Tanya Plibersek to read on the night made it clear that she believes WestCONnex should not proceed,” said Ms Graham.
“This is significant given it was Anthony Albanese who originally committed federal funds to the project.
“It shows that our politicians can be made to listen to reason if we tell them we won’t vote for them if they support WestCONnex.”
Media Contacts: Pauline Lockie 0414 470 106, Lorrie Graham 0408 291 809