Media Release: The WestCONnex dominoes begin to tumble

Hot on the heels of the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry announced last week into the impact of WestCONnex Stage 3, today another two dominoes have toppled with the announcement that key construction sites for WestCONnex Stage 3 tunnels will no longer be required.

Two proposed sites, one near Haberfield Primary School on Parramatta Rd and a second, at the Dan Murphy’s liquor site on Darley Rd Leichhardt, will now be scrapped.

The 13,000 submissions condemning the Environmental Impact Statement for Stage 3 fell largely on deaf ears but the efforts of local action group, Leichhardt Against WestConnex (LAW), in bringing public scrutiny to the looming $50 million compensation payment to Woolworths, who sub-lease the property occupied by Dan Murphy’s, and their landlord Tdrahhciel certainly had the NSW Premier's ears burning. Ahead of the forthcoming Parliamentary inquiry, this noise about the deal was obviously too loud for her to ignore.

Camperdown Residents Against WestConnex (CRAW) spokesperson, Lesley Treleaven, said:

"This is a great victory in our struggle against this utterly disastrous toll road. Some dominoes have tumbled now and we are totally committed that the remaining ones, already swaying, will also fall over."

"The inner-west has five further proposed and operational construction sites - St Peters, Camperdown, Rozelle, Haberfield and Ashfield. Residents have been suffering horrendous construction noise, dust and the impact of heavy-laden spoil trucks through local streets. We remain firm and committed until all these sites are closed and the final domino, WestCONnex, tumbles. Sydney deserves a better solution, a 21st century solution and we will continue to speak out until that occurs."

In 2012, land owner Tdrahhciel (Leichhardt spelt backwards) entered into a 'heads of agreement' to extend its lease until 2038, even though they were in rental arrears on the current lease. This occurred after extensive lobbying from former Liberal leader Kerry Chikarovski. The agreement was conditional on a favourable probity report. However, the probity report questioned elements in the heads of agreement. So a second report was ordered from another 'independent source'. It was more favourable and the lease extended. The minister at time was Gladys Berejiklian, then Minister for Transport and now our Premier. With WestCONnex on the horizon it set up a favourable position for the owners to receive substantial compensation.

"Irrespective of today’s announcement, our expectation is that these and other similar 'negotiations' will still be investigated in the forthcoming parliamentary inquiry," added Ms Treleaven.

This Saturday morning (June 30), action groups No WestConnex: Public Transport, Fix NSW Transport and others will be at Sydney Town Hall to lobby Labor Party members as they arrive for their annual State Conference. They will be presented with motions seeking to stop Stage 3 as well as their commitment to tear up the WestCONnex contracts, if they are elected at the next State Election due to be held on 22 March 2019.

Full details of Saturday's protest action can be accessed here.


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Lesley Treleaven - Camperdown Residents Against WestConnex  



Serkan Ozturk - Founder / Media Consultant


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