Open Letter to Premier Baird, Planning Minister Stokes and Roads Minister Gay
All local community campaign groups, Greens and ALP state and federal politicians, Lord Mayor Clover Moore and other individuals and organisations, have signed onto an Open Letter to the Premier, the Planning Minister Rob Stokes and Roads Minister Duncan Gay, demanding a review of WestConnex and an immediate halt to all work on the proposed St Peters Interchange. Over 1000 people signed the Open Letter in the first day. You can add your signature here.
Planning on the Run
The Baird Liberal National state government has fast-tracked radically altered plans for the Stage 3 M4-M5, announced tunnelling on the New M5 from St Peters and been strongly criticised by the NSW Auditor General for the Sydney Light Rail planning and budgeting – which was compared to the problems the Auditor General highlighted with WestConnex back in December 2014.
Recently the Sydney Motorway Corporation added another kilometre of Stage 2 tunnel from Rozelle to the Iron Cove Bridge and major changes to the Rozelle Interchange. Now planning for the Stage 3 M4-M5 9 km tunnel has been fast-tracked and it’s been widened to 8 lanes. The Camperdown portals onto Parramatta Road have been scrapped and the route has been moved further west. This is good news for Camperdown and Glebe residents as they now won’t have tens of thousands more cars from WestConnex feeding onto Parramatta Road or 30 metre high pollution stacks right in the middle of their suburbs.
But this change will just shift the traffic chaos and pollution elsewhere to St Peters, Alexandria and Newtown.
Preparatory drilling along the proposed route has occurred over the past few weeks but we won’t know the exact route till the EIS is made public in the first half of 2017.
What we do know though, is that this major project is being planned on the run and that all the traffic and air modelling and the business case details are now inaccurate due to these changes since the Stage 1 and Stage 2 EIS plans were approved by the NSW Planning Minister.
Just this week I've met with the Premier and concerned community members and again called on him to immediately step in and stop all WestConnex works and set up an independent review, particularly in light of the way the project is now being planned on the run.
Premier Baird must put a halt to this out of control mega-road and insist on a review now.
The Sydney Park Camp
Now located on the corner of Euston Road and Campbell Street, Alexandria, this camp has been in operation 24/7 now for nearly 3 months drawing attention to the hundreds of trees which will be felled in Sydney Park and surrounds for Stage 3 of WestConnex. A large number of community members have signed up for regular shifts and attended events like the "Adopt a Tree" picnic at the campsite where I spoke in late November. If you'd like to go down to the camp and sign onto some shifts and join the protest, you can call the camp phone 0402 261364.