INNER WEST residents have blocked WestCONnex trucks from entering the St Peters Interchange construction site after their concerns about the unsafe and possibly illegal asbestos removal from the former dump have continued to go ignored.
“WestCONnex has admitted to residents that it was removing asbestos unsafely in poorly covered trucks, and that it only took steps to address these concerns after residents complained and blockaded the site last month,” said WestCONnex Action Group spokesperson Janet Dandy-Ward.
“It’s also said these asbestos trucks are not supposed to be driving past homes and schools on busy streets such as Campbell St and Edgeware Rd, yet residents have photographed truck after truck leaving the site and using these routes.
“We’re also deeply concerned about the health and safety of workers at the site, where asbestos is known to be scattered all over the place. Yet there are no sprinkler systems to dampen down the asbestos, and workers digging up the site don’t seem to be wearing protective gear.
“On top of this, there are huge questions about the legality of what they’re doing. WestCONnex are claiming that they’re operating under Council approvals that are nearly 30 years old – and for a waste disposal facility that no longer exists! How can this be legal?
“And residents have seen and photographed so much earth-moving on the site that appears to have nothing to do with the removal of asbestos at all. This raises another serious question: Is WestCONnex actually preparing the site for construction before it gets planning approval?
“Mike Baird and Duncan Gay are treating our communities with profound contempt. And we’re not prepared to stand idly by as they show such reckless disregard for the health and safety of people in the inner west and western Sydney, for a toll road that has no business case.
“This community stands united and we will not stop these actions until WestCONnex stops the secrecy. And we call on the Baird Government to halt work on the site immediately.”
Media Contact: Pauline Lockie 0414 470 106, Janet Dandy-Ward 0411 633 676