RESIDENTS of an apartment complex in Knocklayde St Ashfield forced WestCONnex to abandon drilling on their property yesterday after it failed to prove it had the legal right to carry out the work.
Paul Whitehead, who lives in the complex with his family, was one of several residents who forced the shutdown after refusing to let WestCONnex contractors Leighton Samsung John Holland JV start drilling on the site.
“I received a non-personalised letter from WestCONnex saying they’d be performing a geotechnical survey within one of our communal areas,” said Mr Whitehead.
“I couldn’t believe WestCONnex could simply march onto private property and set up a drill next to 175 homes.
“I knew I couldn’t look myself or my family in the eye if I did nothing about this, only to find ourselves living in chaos in a few years’ time if the road went ahead. So I told the contractors they couldn’t start work until they’d proven they had approval to do so.”
The contractors could only produce an email from the strata’s executive committee, which Mr Whitehead said had not been approved by residents.
“By this time, we’d created a bit of a scene, so the contractors agreed to leave until further clarification came through. At 12:30pm, I received an email from another resident saying that WestCONnex had packed up and would not return.”
WestCONnex Action Group spokesperson Sharon Laura hailed the result as a community victory.
“WestCONnex has repeatedly failed to prove it has the authority to carry out these works, and this was yet another example of them trying to run roughshod over residents in their rush to build this $15.4 billion sham,” said Ms Laura.
“But once again, we’ve proven that we’re not going to simply stand aside and let the Baird Government destroy our communities for WestCONnex – a toll road which will do nothing except send drivers from western Sydney straight into an inner-city traffic jam.
“This is not the first time we’ve shut down or delayed work on WestCONnex – and it won’t be the last. The Baird Government and contractors like Leightons, Samsung and John Holland can expect more costly delays the longer they keep trying to ram this secretive and destructive road through.”
Media Contact: Sharon Laura 0417 022 553, Pauline Lockie 0414 470 106