WestCONnex Action Group (WAG) welcomes the decision of the NSW Public Accountability Committee Inquiry into the impacts of WestConnex to hold an extra hearing day to recall Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) and the Dept of Planning to explain their earlier evidence.
The Committee received over 550 submissions, and following 3 days of hearings on 9, 11 and 15 October, it scheduled a further of hearing day for Wednesday, 7 November. On Monday it announced that RMS and the Dept of Planning would be recalled to the Inquiry.
WAG spokesperson, Rhea Liebmann, said: “The over 550 submissions to the Inquiry clearly spelt out the overwhelming flaws and failures of the project, from the derisory business case and the secrecy surrounding the route and budget, to the failure to meet the stated objectives of reduced travel times and a direct connection to Sydney Airport and Port Botany.”
“The submissions detail the terrible impacts on residents, communities and the environment. They tell the awful truth of residents bullied and ripped off for their homes, subjected to non-stop construction dust, noise and appalling air quality for years, and those whose homes have been seriously damaged. The Government has refused to acknowledge or address these impacts.”
“The evidence given by RMS, NSW Treasury and the Dept of Planning to the Inquiry was glib, superficial and failed to in any way address these critical failings.”
“Evidence was given under oath to the Inquiry by RMS and the Dept of Planning that there has been full consultation with affected communities, and that construction impacts on residents are mitigated as best as possible. This was totally rebutted by the experts, Councils, residents and community groups who subsequently appeared before the Inquiry. It is crucial that RMS and the Dept of Planning be required to explain their statements in light of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, said Rhea Liebmann, WAG spokesperson.
“We also welcome the Committee’s decision to call the Environment Protection Authority to look at the project’s appalling pollution and compliance record.”
Rhea Liebmann said: “WAG applauds the Committee’s determination to uncover the truth about WestConnex. The Berejiklian Government is treating the NSW public with contempt and must he held to account. We expect the Premier and Leader of the Opposition to take action on the Committee’s recommendations.”
Media Information and Contacts:
Rhea Liebmann 0410 517 343
Public Accountability Committee Inquiry into Impact of the WestConnex Project:
- terms of reference and submissions:
- schedule of witnesses on 7 November: