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.
On 17 April 2018, the NSW Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts approved Stage 3 of WestConnex – the biggest, most expensive transport infrastructure project in the history of Australia.
But it was not until 10 days later, on Friday 27 April, that this approval was made public, with a quiet upload to a government website. Even then, the planning minister, Anthony Roberts, was unavailable for media interviews.
WAG can understand why the Gladys Berejiklian government doesn’t want to front the public to explain its absurd approval of this massive project. As yet, there is no actual engineering plan for Stage 3, just a concept design. And there are persistent doubts that the proposed underground Rozelle Interchange, a crucial part of Stage 3 of WestConnex, can even be built without massive additional cost to the taxpayer.
But that’s not even the worst bit. As we have always argued, WestConnex will not fix the traffic snarls and will make local traffic flows much worse. Air pollution will get worse at schools and childcare centres including Sydney Park Childcare, The Infants Home in Ashfield, St Peters Public School, Erskineville Public School, Camdenville Public School – the list goes on.
Yet the Berejiklian government approved it anyway, ignoring the advice of experts, and putting the health of children at risk. The peer reviews attached to Roberts' approval spell out some of the failings of the WestConnex project.