The recent removal of the WestCONnex Camperdown interchange means that the traffic, air quality, noise and financial projections for the New M5 are now wrong. Yet the NSW government has announced plans to charge ahead with starting tunnelling works at the St Peters Interchange - even though no one now knows what the impact of this part of the tollway or the interchange itself will be.
UPDATE 24/01/17: Following Mike Baird's resignation, this letter will now be addressed to the new Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, Stuart Ayres as Minister for WestCONnex, and Anthony Roberts as the new Planning Minister.
Add your name to this Open Letter to join the call for a halt and to and full review of WestCONnex.
OPEN LETTER TO PREMIER GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN, STUART AYRES AND ANTHONY ROBERTS REGARDING WESTCONNEX
We the undersigned oppose WestConnex and call for an immediate review of the whole project.
The significant changes made recently to the proposed M4-M5 Link mean that the traffic and air quality modelling, financial projections, and other key elements of the environmental impact statements for WestConnex Stages 1 and 2 will now be incorrect.
The effects of these changes will be felt across the route, especially around the proposed St Peters Interchange. Even the current figures for the New M5 show this interchange would significantly increase traffic and pollution in the surrounding area, which is the most densely populated in Australia and growing rapidly.
These and other impacts will be even more severe due to the removal of the Camperdown off-ramps, as the St Peters Interchange will now be the closest entry/exit to many parts of the city for drivers travelling to and from the south west.
We therefore urgently request that you:
halt the construction of the St Peters Interchange and all associated works before the widespread destruction of properties, parks and trees in this area takes place, and
provide updated traffic, air quality, financial and environmental studies for this section of WestConnex
We believe the St Peters Interchange must be reviewed in the same way as the Rozelle Interchange was, as it will have severe health and traffic impacts on many communities and those travelling through the inner west. By increasing traffic in Newtown, it will also jeopardise the future of King St, one of Sydney’s most vibrant entertainment and business areas.
We believe it is a dereliction of your duty of care to actively increase the toxic pollution that so many residents, particularly children, will be exposed to with this section of WestConnex.
We also reject the proposed location of the Interchange next to Sydney Park, the inner city’s largest green space, and the assertion that green space under a massive interchange can be considered an acceptable ‘replacement’ for the trees that will be destroyed there.
Even before these latest changes were made, the WestConnex ad hoc planning process meant the St Peters Interchange was approved even though plans for the ’Sydney Gateway’ connection to Port Botany and the airport have not been released, despite this connection being the primary reason for the WestConnex project.
All affected local councils and environmental and planning peak bodies have opposed WestConnex and provided strong arguments against building this tollway right through the heart of Sydney.
It’s time now for an urgent review into WestConnex, and in particular, a rethink of the St Peters Interchange with regard for the ongoing health and wellbeing of tens of thousands of residents.
WestCONnex Action Group, No WestConnex: Public Transport, Leichhardt Against WestCONnex, Rozelle Against WestConnex, Save Newtown from WestCONnex, Alexandria Residents Action Group, EcoTransit, Friends of Erskineville, Nature Conservation Council, Newtown Precinct Business Association, REDWatch, Rethink the Link (WA), Total Environment Centre, Wolli Creek Preservation Society, Yarra Campaign for Action on Transport (YCAT, Vic)
Dr Mehreen Faruqi MP (Grn), Alex Greenwich MP (Ind), Jo Haylen MP (ALP), Jenny Leong MP (Grn), Jodi McKay MP (ALP), Cr Jess Miller (Ind), Lord Mayor Clover Moore (Ind), Jamie Parker MP (Grn), Senator Lee Rhiannon (Grn), Senator Janet Rice (Grn), Cr Linda Scott (ALP), Cr Jess Scully (Ind)