Filmmaker Russ Herman documented the occupation and destruction of much-loved family homes in the Ashfield and Haberfield areas. He's spoken to locals, former residents, those arrested and more to find out why they're standing up to the senseless destruction of their community for WestCONnex.
Overnight occupation and destruction of 4 Northcote St, Haberfield
"It was a beautiful suburb. But not any more. Because what the WestCONnex is going to do - it's going to destroy Haberfield. With the smoke stack...just imagine, the school, around where the kids are. And any young family, that's got young kids - what's going to happen to them?" - Dominic, former resident of 4 Northcote St, who lived in Haberfield for over 50 years before being forced out.
Rooftop occupation and destruction of 1 Wolseley St, Haberfield
"If Mike Baird was really trying to bust congestion, he wouldn't be building a road...This road is costing $16,000,000,000 - that's $500 million per kilometre. What better way we could spend the money on public transport, hospitals and schools. Penrith; they need $360 million to revitalise their hospital. They're missing out because it's being spent on a toll road." - Kathryn Calman, WestCONnex Action Group.
Occupation of some the last affordable housing in Haberfield at 27 Wattle St
"I live just around the corner. I've seen the grief this project is causing the local community. But my chief objection is not even a local community one. The public dollar is being spent on a wasteful tunnel, which will not solve the traffic congestion problems in this area, or indeed in greater Sydney. " - Josefa, Haberfield resident.
"Women Against WestCONnex": Occupation of 96 Chandos St, Ashfield
"It is incredibly short sighted, what's being done here. I feel there are decisions being made that do not take into account the long-term effects on the climate, and do not take into account my wellbeing or the wellbeing of people in this city." - Ruth, Ashfield resident, who was one of the women arrested.
First Haberfield defenders face court: Charges proved but dismissed
"I've been opposing this toll road for nearly three years. I've organised meetings, I've organised petitions, I've basically lobbied - all of which has been totally ignored. Mike Baird and his cowboys are going to go ahead with this irrespectively. They've rorted the planning laws, and now they're destroying my suburb. We will continue to oppose this road." - Chris Elenor, NOW Public Transport.