About NoW (NoWestconnex) Public Transport

NoW (NoWestConnex) Public Transport is a coalition of community groups working to protect our suburbs and environment and promote real solutions for active and public transport. Affiliated groups include Wolli Creek Preservation Society and EcoTransit. Other groups include WestCon Community Action Groups (Haberfield and Ashfield, and Concord and Strathfield chapters), and Save Ashfield Park. These community groups have formed an incorporated association called NoW Public Transport.

- See more at: http://westconnex.info/about/#sthash.NrJEkNzM.dpuf

Stop WestConnex, 33km of toll road destruction planned for Sydney.

No Westconnex: Public Transport is an alliance of groups and individuals from across Sydney campaigning against the WestConnex toll roads and in favour of public transport solutions.

About NoW (NoWestconnex) Public Transport

NoW (NoWestConnex) Public Transport is a coalition of community groups working to protect our suburbs and environment and promote real solutions for active and public transport. Affiliated groups include Wolli Creek Preservation Society and EcoTransit. Other groups include WestCon Community Action Groups (Haberfield and Ashfield, and Concord and Strathfield chapters), and Save Ashfield Park. These community groups have formed an incorporated association called NoW Public Transport.

- See more at: http://westconnex.info/about/#sthash.NrJEkNzM.dpuf
  • From the blog

    Campaigners call for halt as they wait for Inquiry report release

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    What we don't know about Westconnex is a scandal

    This week has been another bad one for the WestConnex project as the Electrical Trade Union (ETU) were again forced to stop work over safety concerns on the M4 East site and one of the project’s major contractors - Leightons now known as CIMIC - saw a senior ex-executive Peter Gregg found guilty of falsifying company records in relation to an allegedly corrupt $15 million payment during his time at construction giant. The company, which is heavily involved in WestConnex Stage 1 and 2 has been involved in WestConnex since its beginnings in 2013. But next week will probably be even worse.

    The NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the impact of the WestConnex Project will publish its report on Monday December 17th . Given a mountain of evidence, we expect the report to reveal a mass of problems with WestConnex. But what the evidence also shows is that the NSW government and WestConnex refused to answer basic questions about the project. This shows a contempt for parliamentary and public accountability and lends weight to community demands for an immediate stop to the project and a Royal Commission into WestConnex.

    The scandal is that despite a huge effort in a very short time, the Inquiry will reveal the community is still no closer to having basic questions answered about this controversial multi-billion dollar private toll-way.

    Spokesperson for the Coalition Against WestConnex Rhea Liebmann says: “It’s shocking that so many questions were not answered and that so much basic information is ‘commercially in confidence’. Nothing less than a Royal Commission will get to the bottom of this white elephant – a project now destined to go down in history as the most expensive and corrupted projects in NSW history. Until then work and funds must stop, when you’re down a hole this big, you need to stop digging. That’s why we welcome Labor's Shadow Spokesperson for WestConnex promise of a Royal Commission if elected.”

    The The Gladys Berejiklian government told the Inquiry it had done 36 business assurance reviews on WestConnex since it released the Strategic Business case at the end of 2015. Although the 2015 version is now very out of date, all further reviews are confidential.

    The following is a list of some of questions asked during the current Inquiry. The refusal to answer is nothing less than contempt for basic parliamentary and public accountability.

     

    Disappearing Sydney Gateway
    The first question asks the most basic question of all: what constitutes the WestConnex project. One of the terms of reference for the inquiry was; (h) the circumstances by which WestConnex and the Sydney Gateway were declared to be separate projects in 2017.

    Question: When was the decision made to make the Sydney Gateway project a separate project with the WestConnex project making a contribution towards it.

    Answer: The WestConnex Delivery Authority was dissolved on 1 October 2015. Subsequently, in November 2015, Roads and Maritime Services began developing a separate business case for Sydney Gateway. Sydney Gateway is not being developed or delivered by Sydney Motorway Corporation – Roads and Maritime Services is the responsible delivery agency, with the WestConnex motorway program contributing $800 million to the road component of Sydney Gateway.

    No exact date was provided and Inquiry government witnesses either professed not to know the date or provided conflicting responses. In fact various players including the RMS CEO Ken Kanofski continued to refer to the Gateway project as part of WestConnex for the next two years. Three years ago RMS were working on a business case that has never been made public.

     

    What’s in the air?
    The second goes to the vital question of safety for school children. There is evidence before the Committee that WestConnex gave assurances to the St Peters P and C Westconnex sub-committee that results of air monitoring would be made available to school committee. The results were never been sent to the school.

    Question: How many Pm10 or Pm2.5 exceedances have been recorded at St Peters School?

    Answer: Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC) and its contractors continue to meet all regulatory requirements regarding the publication of air monitoring levels. Changes to PM10 and PM2.5 levels can be caused by broader regional emission events, for example a bushfire, rather than a local emissions source related to the project. SMC and its contractors are continuing to meet all regulatory requirements in the management and reporting of air quality levels as construction on WestConnex continues.

    Note that the SMC does not answer the question. There have been exceedances at St Peters school.

    This is just one point to emerge from evidence on air quality which overall demonstrated that RMS claims to be using ‘best practice’ have no solid foundation.


    Noise and neglect
    The third non-answer reflects the contempt with which WestConnex treats communities in their path.

    Question to Andrew Head, Head of WestConnex:

    You say that WestConnex does everything it can to minimise impacts, so why did you not put in place noise mitigation measures on homes greatly affected by noise generated by the construction phase on the New M5?

    Answer: We are committed to minimising disruption to residents who are living through and impacted by construction. As part of our review of the WestConnex business, we will seek to ensure that we are adhering to all requirements of the New M5 planning conditions of approval, EPA requirements and other requirements relating to mitigation measures.

    Evidence to Inquiry from residents made it clear that impacts are horrendous and that contractors are doing nothing to minimise impacts on residents. The NSW government has contracted out its obligations and on many occasions during the Inquiry, it was clear that there had been a collapse in public accountability and transparency.

     

    How much?
    Finally there is the enormous question of just how much this now private tollway is costing the taxpayers of NSW – a question the organisation still refuses to answer.

    Question to WestConnex CEO, Andrew Head: In respect to stage 3A, you say Lendlease Samsung has been awarded the design and construct… what is the value of the construction part of the contract?

    Answer from Mr Head: Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is currently in contract negotiations for Stage 3B (Rozelle Interchange) construction and has indicated that releasing the value of Stage 3A (mainline tunnels) at this point may impact its commercial negotiations.

    This means that a contract for the Stage 3A M4/M5 that was awarded in June 2018 and is worth billions has not been made public.

    It’s worth remembering that at this point, many believe the cost is now closer to $20 billion than the $16.8 billion put forward by the NSW government. Even the $20 billion estimate does not include the many billions of additional costs that the Committee heard were not included in the WestConnex cost/benefit ratio.

     

    Update
    On Friday December 14th, the government announced that the Stage 3b contract for the Rozelle Interchange had been given to CIMIC (CPB) and John Holland. The only second bidder was paid $20 million to enter the race. CPB is the same company that has caused the noise impacts referred to above. The government has stated that the cost of 3b is $3.9 billion, so the Coalition Against WestConnex assume that $3.3 billion is the cost of the tunnel between St Peters and Haberfield. If the Rozelle Interchange is not finished on time, the government will pay penalties to Transurban that now controls WestConnex.

     

    For further information call:

    Rhea Liebmann: 0410 517 343

    Kathy Calman: 0421 181 057

    Julie Macken: 0400 925 217

     

    Coalition Against WestCONnex is a network of community groups opposing the WestConnex project.

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    WestCONnex Parliamentary Inquiry videos

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    A NSW Parliamentary Inquiry was established on 21 June 2018 to inquire into and report on the impact of the WestConnex project.

    Public hearings were held on the 9 Oct, 11 Oct, 15 Oct and 7 Nov.

     

    HEARING SCHEDULE
    INQUIRY INTO THE IMPACT OF THE WESTCONNEX PROJECT

    Tuesday 9 October 2018
    Macquarie Room, Parliament House, Sydney
    Schedule Transcript

    9.15 am Government panel – Transport cluster
    Mr Ken Kanofski Chief Executive, Roads and Maritime Services
    Ms Camilla Drover Executive Director, Motorways Division, Roads and Maritime Services
    Facebook video link

    10.45 am Government panel – NSW Treasury and DPC
    Mr Phil Gardner Deputy Secretary, Commercial, NSW Treasury
    Mr Jim Dawson Executive Director, Commercial Assets, NSW Treasury
    Ms Kim Curtain Executive Director, Infrastructure and Structured Finance, NSW Treasury
    Ms Sally Walkom Executive Director, Commercial Branch, Department of Premier and Cabinet
    Facebook video link

    11.45 am Rozelle community panel
    Mr Peter Hehir Convenor, Rozelle Against WestConnex (RAW)
    Mr Brian Gorman, Representative, North West Rozelle Residents
    Ms Denise Corrigan, Representative, North West Rozelle Residents
    Facebook video link

    1.30 pm
    Dr Patrick Harris Senior Research Fellow, Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney School of Medicine, representing the Public Health Association of Australia
    Facebook video link

    2.00 pm Local government panel
    Councillor Darcy Byrne Mayor, Inner West Council
    Mr John Warburton Deputy General Manager, Community and Engagement, Inner West Council
    Mr Kendall Banfield Manager, WestConnex Unit, Inner West Council
    Councillor Gulian Vaccari Mayor, Strathfield Council
    Facebook video link Part 1 Part 2

    3.00 pm Annandale and Leichhardt community panel
    Mr Kelvin Riordan Convenor, NoW Annandale
    Mr Richard Dudley-Smith Co-convenor, NoW Annandale
    Ms Ann-Therese King Vice president and WestConnex Liaison Officer, Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt P&C
    Ms Jane Crawford President, Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt P&C
    Facebook video link (until 46 minute mark)

    3.45 pm
    Dr Glen Searle Adjunct Associate Professor, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney
    Facebook video link (from 47m24s mark)

    4.15 pm
    Ms Mary Court Secretary, Penrith Valley Community Unions, Spokesperson, No M4 Tolls
    Facebook video link

     

    Thursday 11 October 2018
    Macquarie Room, Parliament House, Sydney
    Schedule Transcript

    9.30 am
    Mr Marcus Ray Deputy Secretary, Planning Services, Department of Planning and Environment
    Mr Glenn Snow Acting Executive Director, Priority Projects, Department of Planning and Environment
    Facebook video link

    10.30 am
    Dr Raymond Nassar Specialist anaesthetist
    Facebook video link

    11.15 am
    Mr John English Chairperson, Beverly Hills North Progress Association
    Ms Kathryn Calman Member, Beverly Hills North Progress Association
    Facebook video link

    12.00 pm
    Mr Jim Betts CEO, Infrastructure NSW
    Ms Marina Grobbelaar Acting Deputy CEO and Head of Investor Assurance, Infrastructure NSW
    Facebook video link

    1.45 pm
    Mr Richard Olsen State Secretary, Transport Workers Union 
    Mr Robert Rasmussen Official, Transport Workers Union
    Facebook video link

    2.30 pm
    Ms Margaret Crawford Auditor-General of New South Wales, Audit Office of NSW
    Mr Scott Stanton Assistant Auditor-General, Financial Audit, Audit Office of NSW
    Ms Claudia Migotto Assistant Auditor-General, Performance Audit, Audit Office of NSW
    Facebook video link

    3.30 pm Haberfield community panel
    Mr Malachy Ward WestConnex Liaison Officer, Haberfield Association
    Ms Cynthia Moore Member, Haberfield Association
    Ms Sherrill Nixon Head of the WestConnex subcommittee and Member, Haberfield Public School P&C
    Ms Rachel Brittliff Member, Haberfield Public School P&C
    Facebook video link

    4.15 pm
    Ms Merilyn Fairskye Co-convenor, Newtown Residents Against WestConnex
    Mr Ben Aveling Co-convenor, Alexandria Residents Action Group
    Dr Lesley Treleaven Convenor, Camperdown Residents Against WestConnex
    Professor Paul Torzillo Head of Respiratory Medicine at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, appearing with Camperdown Residents Against WestConnex
    Facebook video link

     

    Monday 15 October 2018
    Macquarie Room, Parliament House, Sydney
    Schedule Transcript

    9.00 am Sydney Motorway Corporation
    Mr Dennis Cliche Former Chief Executive Officer, Sydney Motorway Corporation
    Mr Peter Jones Former Project Director, Stage 3, Sydney Motorway Corporation
    Facebook video link

    10.00 am
    Mr Andrew Head Chief Executive Officer, WestConnex
    Facebook video link

    11.00 am
    Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Mayor, City of Sydney
    Ms Monica Barone, Chief Executive Officer, City of Sydney
    Mr Kim Woodbury, Chief Operations Officer, City of Sydney
    Mr Sebastian Smyth, Executive Manager Access and Transport, City of Sydney
    Mr Terry Rawnsley, Principal and Partner, SGS Economics and Planning
    Youtube video link

    11.45 am
    Professor John Sheehan AM Chairman, Desane Group Holdings Limited
    Facebook video link

    1.30 pm VALUERS
    Mr Michael Parker, Acting Valuer General, Office of the Valuer General
    Mr Paul Goldsmith, Principal Valuer Compensation, Valuation Services, Property NSW
    Facebook video link

    2.15 pm
    Mr John Lozano, No WestConnex: Public Transport
    Mr Matthew Doherty, EcoTransit
    Mr Jim Donovan, Action for Public Transport
    Facebook video link

    3.00 pm
    Dr Michelle Zeibots Research Director, UTS Transport Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney
    Facebook video link Part 1 Part 2

    3.45 pm
    Ms Janet Dandy-Ward, Treasurer, WestConnex Action Group
    Ms Rhea Liebmann, Spokesperson, WestConnex Action Group
    Dr Jane Durie, Spokesperson, WestConnex Action Group
    Facebook video link

    4.30 pm
    Ms Kate Cotis, Resident, St Peters
    Ms Tamara Regan, Resident, St Peters
    Dr Sarina Kilham, Spokesperson, WestConnex subcommittee, St Peters Public School P&C
    Facebook video link

    5.15 pm
    Mr Richard Capuano, Former resident, St Peters
    Ms Shelley Jensen, Former resident, St Peters
    Facebook video link


    Wednesday 7 November 2018

    Macquarie Room, Parliament House, Sydney
    Schedule Transcript

    10.00 am 
    Mr Marcus Ray Deputy Secretary, Planning Services, Department of Planning and Environment
    Mr David Gainsford Executive Director, Priority Projects Assessment, Department of Planning and Environment
    Mr Glenn Snow Director, Transport Assessments, Department of Planning and Environment
    Mr Mark Gifford Chief Environmental Regulator, Environment Protection Authority
    Mr Stephen Lancken Independent Chair, M4 East Air Quality Community Consultative Committee

    Facebook video link

    1.00 pm
    Mr Ken Kanofski, Chief Executive, Roads and Maritime Services
    Ms Camilla Drover, Executive Director, Motorways Division, Roads and Maritime Services
    Facebook video link

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