HUNDREDS of people attended a snap rally in Sydney Park this morning to protest the Baird Government’s planned destruction of hundreds of trees there for the WestCONnex tollway.
The protest marked the start of an ongoing occupation at the site. It followed news that preparatory works for the destruction are due to start this week, despite the Baird Government’s failure to obtain an arborist report as per the WestCONnex New M5’s conditions of approval.
NSW MPs Jenny Leong and Mehreen Faruqi also attended, along with City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.
Cr Moore – who recently won a landslide election victory after campaigning strongly against WestCONnex – took the opportunity to call for Roads Minister Duncan Gay’s resignation.
“The City needs a minister capable of coping with a modern urban city,” Cr Moore said. “Not a National Party member who thinks it's a good thing to deliver vehicles into the city.”
“Today’s protest showed residents are not going to stand aside while Mike Baird and Duncan Gay bulldoze Sydney Park for WestCONnex,” said WestCONnex Action Group (WAG) spokesperson Anne Picot.
“WestCONnex will see people from western Sydney paying huge tolls to drive straight into traffic jams. It will destroy thousands of trees and green spaces like Sydney Park. And it’s forcing thousands of people from their homes and businesses, leaving communities shattered.
“Yet despite Baird and Gay’s promises, the only people who’ll win out of WestCONnex are toll road companies. Not hardworking families across Sydney, who’ll be left facing more pollution, congestion and costs than ever before.
“That’s why today’s protest also marked the start of a 24/7 occupation of the site, where residents will be standing guard to stop Baird’s bulldozers and protect Sydney Park from WestCONnex,” said Ms Picot.
Contacts: Anne Picot 0404 090 710, Alana West 0421 336 365
To volunteer for a shift at the site or donate supplies, please email us or just swing by. Site is on Euston Rd near Alan Davidson Oval, across the road from the Plasta Masta factory.