No WestConnex: Public Transport welcomes the news that NSW Premier Mike Baird will resign from Parliament. His resignation shows the strength of the many grass-roots campaigners fighting against his government's destructive policies. These include forced council amalgamations, the backflip on the greyhound ban, senseless privatisations and of course the WestConnex private toll road, among many others.
Whilst the controversial WestConnex toll road was being pushed by former premier-cum-Transurban adviser Nick Greiner prior to Baird becoming Premier, he took up the project with a callousness and disregard of evidence which shocked people. Of particular note was the unfair nature of home acquisitions. Ongoing campaigning by anti-WestConnex groups resulted in the public release of a land acquisition report Baird was refusing to publish and the subsequent partial adoption of the recommended reforms.
WestConnex became a bad news story for Premier Baird as relations between the community and Sydney Motorway Corporation continued to degrade and as protest against the toll road grew across Sydney.
“With the resignation of Baird and the fast-approaching retirement of Duncan Gay, the champions of this doomed, destructive toll road will have left the Coalition. We hope that the incoming Premier and changed cabinet will see the folly in Baird’s stubbornness, halt the WestConnex toll road and consult the public on the real public transport alternatives Sydney needs.” Said No WestConnex: Public Transport spokesperson Andrew Chuter.
“WestConnex is a 1950s solution to a 21st century problem. We call on the incoming Premier to halt all construction and associated works on the WestConnex toll road and immediately launch a Parliamentary Inquiry into the project.” Said Mr Chuter.
A report by the Australian National Audit Office into the Commonwealth Funding for WestConnex is due to be released this month.