On Tuesday, 1st May 2018 at 12.30pm communities across Sydney will come together at Parliament House to condemn the illegitimate approval of Stage 3 of WestConnex.
The Approval was secretly granted by the Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts MP, on 17 April 2018, but not disclosed to the public until last Friday, 27 April by a press release from Minister Roberts and Stuart Ayres MP, Minister for WestConnex.
“The Approval of WestConnex Stage 3 in the face of more than 13,000 objections defies belief,” said Paul Jeffrey, spokesperson for the Coalition Against WestCONnex, a coalition of community groups opposed to WestConnex.
“The Approval is completely premature and illegitimate. Stage 3 is still only a concept design and the Approval means the contractors will have the final say on the design and construction of the tollway, without any government oversight or public accountability once WestConnex is sold. The approval even includes the complex spaghetti underground Rozelle Interchange, for which the government has not yet been able to find a builder.”
Gladys Berejiklian’s WestConnex legacy, like the CBD and South East Light Rail before it, will undoubtedly be one of cost overruns, delays, incompetence and unacceptable financial risk for NSW.
Mr Jeffrey said: “The fact that the Berejiklian Govt hid the Approval for ten days, and slipped a media release out on the Friday after Anzac Day, clearly shows that the Premier knows that WestConnex, and particularly Stage 3, will not deliver as promised and is going the way of the Light Rail project. Gladys Berejiklian is now so desperate to sell the WestConnex millstone before the next election that she will do anything to facilitate the sale.”
“WestConnex will burden motorists with thousand of dollars of tolls each year for two generations, inflict untold harm on the environment and air quality, and has already made the lives of the communities affected by its construction a living hell as well as seriously endangering their health.”
“There have been thousands of complaints by residents terribly impacted by dust, noise and smell, with allergies and respiratory conditions, sleepless nights, and cracking in their homes. Only two weeks ago hundreds of parents and children from Haberfield Public School protested against the horrific air quality and noise pollution the children have been living with for more than two years,” said Mr Jeffrey
“At that time the Premier said she would do what she could to address these issues, but a week later her Govt approved Stage 3, which will see another two constructions sites near the school and 5 more years of construction.”
The Coalition against WestCOnnex also said that communities have no faith in the “strict conditions" to the Approval which the Govt says will protect residents from construction impacts. “Without truly independent oversight and the ability to enforce compliance, these will fail to protect residents and the environment, as they have for Stages 1 and 2,” said Mr Jeffrey.
Tuesday 1 May 2018
Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney
6 Macquarie St
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
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