THE WestCONnex project was wholly rejected by locals who filled the Enmore Theatre to capacity.
WestCONnex Delivery Authority executives faced overwhelming hostility as they went through the motions of so-called community consultation with an information night that was farcical at best.
WestCONnex boss Dennis Cliche was barricaded on stage and flanked by an army of private security.
Cliche and WestCONnex executives endured 90 minutes of heckling, booing and signs from audience members that said LIES and ANSWER THE QUESTION.
“If this is truly community consultation, then they should cancel this project because the community has spoken and don’t want it,” said Westconnex Action Group organiser Emma Pierce.
“No one wants this toll road, no one wants the lack of alternatives that it leaves commuters, and no one wants the congestion or the poison stacks or our community torn apart by this.
“The community expressed strong concern about how we would cope with the tens of thousands of cars they’re expecting to be dumped in St. Peters, and how the poison stacks would affect our air.
“This will be a dangerous toxic soup for the Inner West and the cardio respiratory problems will be felt for year in what could be a next generation James Hardie-style batch of asbestos claims by residents.
“To cite NorthConnex as a benchmark is worrying because the local doctors group is still fighting against it and the poison stacks near the schools still don’t have filters.
Marrickville Mayor Mark Gardiner and Greens candidate for Newtown Jenny Leong were loudly cheered when they stood to reiterate their opposition to Westconnex, which is also supported by the City of Sydney council.
“Tonight achieved nothing and was a disaster for WestCONnex as they realise they have to try a lot harder to get this over the line because this community clearly won’t lie down.
“They said that the tender process is now complete, so they should now show us exactly what went out for tender because there has been no transparency around this at all,” said Ms Pierce.
EcoTransit consultant Mat Hounsell said the information presented by WestCONnex was contrary to Department of Planning reports on traffic modelling for the M4 widening.
“The Dept of Planning environmental assessment report for M4 widening shows Parramatta Rd will be clogged with 15,000 extra cars, Victoria Rd will suffer an extra 10,000 cars and the M4 will drop to a service rating of F – the lowest rating possible. The Silverwater Rd intersection is expected to have a 7km queue with traffic speeds of 28 km per hour. They lied about that tonight, so what else are they lying about? The community is right to be highly sceptical of WestCONnex,” Mr Hounsell said.
Media Contact: Garth Montgomery 0408 864 851