WESTCONNEX New M5 contractors carrying out construction works for the toll road ahead of planning approval called police today after residents occupied their planned drilling site at Tempe Reserve.
No arrests were made during the peaceful protest, which saw contractors unable to start work after residents set up a picnic in the public space where they planned to conduct drilling for WestCONnex.
One resident also climbed the drill rig and occupied it for several hours to stop work going ahead.
“Public submissions to the New M5 environmental impact statement (EIS) only closed on Friday, yet the Baird Government is rushing ahead with this work before those submissions are even considered, let alone any planning approval granted,” said WestCONnex Action Group spokesperson Pauline Lockie.
“Residents are sick of WestCONnex contractors coming in, disrupting our public spaces without notice, and carrying out these works to build this toll road before they get approval to start construction.
“It’s yet another example of the utterly corrupted processes Premier Baird and his government are using to try and rush this $16.8 billion sham toll road through.
“But we are not going to stand aside while the Baird Government destroys our neighbourhoods for WestCONnex – a toll road that will do nothing except send drivers from western Sydney straight into an inner-city traffic jam.
“It’s not good enough. It’s time for Premier Baird to recognise this, stop the disastrous WestCONnex toll road, and invest its $16.8 billion cost in projects that would actually solve Sydney’s transport problems.”
The protest followed similar actions in Haberfield last month, where WestCONnex contractors were forced to abandon work on the M4 East after residents occupied sites and questioned them about their authority to conduct the work.
The Department of Planning and Environment has received well over 9,000 submissions with detailed objections to the New M5 EIS. Despite this, construction contracts have already been awarded to Leighton Dragados Samsung Joint Venture, and works have been taking place for months.
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Media contacts: Pauline Lockie 0414 470 106, Sharon Laura 0417 022 553