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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WestConnex M4 Widening Stage 1a Submission by No WestConnex

The first stage of WestCONnex was Stage 1a, the widening of the M4 from Parramatta to Strathfield. This is the submission from No WestCONnex: Public Transport on the Environmental Impact Statement, from September 2014


Submission to SSI 13_6148
Regarding the M4 Western Motorway - WestConnex M4 Widening

From NoW Public Transport Inc - September 2014

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing on behalf of the members and member groups of the non-profit NSW incorporated association: NoW Public Transport. I am writing to oppose the widening of the M4 Motorway as detailed in the Environmental Impact Statement attached to the application #SSI 13_6148.

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How the planning process was corrupted to prop up the toll road corporations

How the planning process was corrupted to prop up the toll road corporations
by Dr Chris Standen

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Recent modelling by Veitch Lister Consulting confirms the $17 billion WestConnex toll road will increase traffic and congestion in inner Sydney, making getting around more difficult for many of us. But isn’t the purpose of new transport infrastructure to improve mobility?

Well, WestConnex wasn’t conceived by skilled transport planners, aiming to improve mobility and access for Sydney’s growing population. In fact, I don't know of one independent transport expert who thinks the scheme makes sense from a transport, or economic, perspective.

Rather, the scheme was designed to optimise revenues and profits for private toll road corporations – much like the West Gate Tunnel that Transurban, already earning $2.1 billion a year from tolls, has proposed for Melbourne.

These corporations’ business models depend not on improving mobility or liveability, but on cramming more traffic onto metropolitan roads, and on locking us into paying ever-increasing tolls. Indeed, Sydney Motorways Corporation chief, Dennis Cliche, recently described the new M4 toll as “exciting”.

WestConnex has been supported by the Liberal and Labor parties – both receive large donations from toll road corporations.

It was crudely shoehorned into the final version of the 2012 NSW Transport Master Plan. Objectives such as "reducing congestion" and "linking Western Sydney to the Airport" were drafted retrospectively, to try to justify the scheme.

Embarrassingly, even these objectives won’t be met. As the new modelling shows, WestConnex will significantly increase congestion. Traffic on Parramatta Road has already surged, due to motorists avoiding the new tolls on the M4. WestConnex won’t actually “connex” to the Airport – and because the existing Airport motorway (M5 East) will be tolled $14 for a round trip from 2020, many people driving from Western Sydney will be switching to slower local roads.

A financial flop before it’s even built

The Commonwealth and NSW governments committed billions of dollars to this private enterprise before a very unconvincing business case was crafted. This funding included proceeds from the sale of income-generating public assets (electricity network).

In a reversal of a normal Public Private Partnership arrangement, the NSW Government then volunteered to build WestConnex on behalf of the private sector – saddling taxpayers with all the financial risk.

Despite public subsidies of over $5.6 billion to date, WestConnex still won’t be able to pay for itself through user charges – it’s a financial flop before it’s even built. To make up the shortfall, new tolls are being slapped on existing, publicly-owned motorways (M4 and M5 East), and extended on the M5 Southwest after 2026, when this motorway will have been paid off. Further substantial taxpayer subsidies are likely.

Will the scheme meet its objective of increasing corporate profits? Probably. While there is still significant uncertainty around future toll revenues and construction costs, the financial risk continues to be borne by taxpayers – because the NSW Government is yet to hand WestConnex over to the private sector.

I expect the future operator will acquire it at a fire-sale price. It will also want revenue guarantees. This is where this week’s announcement of a vehicle registration refund scheme for frequent toll road users comes in. This subsidy, likely to cost taxpayers $1 billion over the next 10 years, will encourage some travellers to switch from free roads and public transport to the private toll roads, shoring up traffic and revenue.

In terms of political popularity, a $358 incentive to use toll roads is unlikely to make up for new tolls of $3,300 a year on the existing M5 East, and $2,000 a year on the M4.

The biggest misuse of public funds in Australia's history?

Clearly, WestConnex is not in the public interest. The scheme involves arguably the biggest misuse of public funds for private gain in Australia's history – billions of dollars that could otherwise have been used for worthwhile infrastructure or services.

The harm to people’s lives is immeasurable. Construction is already destroying communities, affecting people's health, and disrupting sleep and travel – with years more to come. The new tolls on the existing motorways will hurt lower-income households, particularly in Western Sydney. The extra traffic generated through induced demand and toll-avoidance will lead to more road trauma and traffic noise. In particular, we can expect more trucks on local streets day and night, as they avoid the new tolls.

Traffic pollution  an invisible killer

Sydney's air already has unhealthy levels of traffic pollution. Diesel exhaust is a carcinogen in the same class as asbestos. Invisible and odourless petrochemical particulates penetrate deep into our lungs and into our blood supply while we work, exercise and sleep – and we may only become aware of the health consequences years later.

The toll road bosses and their government backers know WestConnex will cause more people to die and suffer chronic illness from traffic pollution in future. Is profit more important to them?

But it’s not a done deal. Stage 3 is still unfunded, and has major engineering challenges. Other cities worldwide have been saved from inner-city motorway schemes in the past. With jobs decentralisation, affordable housing policies, and investment in efficient and rapid mass transit, they are prospering without costly, destructive and polluting tollways.

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(This article was originally published at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-planning-process-corrupted-help-toll-road-chris-standen/ on 1 Nov 2017 and has been reproduced here with Dr Standen's kind permission.)

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Media Release: Transurban - when too much monopoly is just not enough

The ACCC's decision to delay Transurban from bidding for WestConnex should be a warning to all. Premier Gladys Berejiklian and the NSW government have pulled out every trick in the book to fast-track the sale of the controversial infrastructure project. But, now, it’s time to take a breath and reflect on whether this sale is really for the public’s good, or, for the good of its political masters and private toll road operators, say community advocacy group No WestConnex: Public Transport (NoW: PT).

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Fix NSW Transport Lantern Walk posters and links

Please help us get the word out about the Fix NSW Transport Lantern Walk with these downloadable posters.

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You can print colour or B&W, as a big poster or small flyer. Make it double sided and put your local group's message on the back.

Thanks to Joel Tarling for his great hand drawn style on this one:

Colour | Black and white

Thanks to Rob Manser for this alternative version:

Colour


Links:

Facebook event - https://www.facebook.com/events/184634588836161/

Website event - http://www.westconnex.info/fix_nsw_transport_2018_city_lantern_walk

Short URL - bit.do/fixnsw2

 

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Media Release: Labor heavyweights need to speak up against WestCONnex at forum tonight

Sydney residents and transport users have a real chance tonight to speak directly to a number of senior Labor Party MPs, including federal Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek, and call on them to actually oppose the NSW Government's trouble-prone WestConnex infrastructure project.

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Media Release: Community mourns & celebrates activist, teacher Liz Butterworth

Family, friends and former colleagues gathered late last week to remember activist and teacher Liz Butterworth as a woman of immense strength and character who will be missed by many in Sydney's inner-west and beyond.

A memorial was held for Ms Butterworth at the NSW Teachers Federation House at Surry Hills on Thursday, July 5 after she died from cancer last week. 

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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.

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Media Release: Community wins with WestConnex shelving Leichhardt tunnel dive site for M4-M5 link



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The Coalition Against WestConnex (CAW) is delighted that the chosen contractor for the WestConnex M4-M5 Link tunnel has abandoned the Darley Rd Dan Murphys site in Leichhardt and the Muirs site in Parramatta Road Haberfield as tunnelling dive sites for Stage 3 WestConnex.

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Media Release: 'Stop WestCONnex' protest at NSW Labor State Conference

Community advocacy group No WestConnex: Public Transport (NoW: PT) will be out in numbers this weekend at the NSW Labor state conference to urge the State Opposition to halt work on WestConnex, and instead work with residents and transport users to improve public transport options and reduce carbon emissions.

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