The Westconnex motorway is one of State Government’s most controversial projects, and for good reason. A 33km toll road ripping straight through suburbs and densely congested areas, Westconnex is an environmental, social and financial disaster. Importantly, it directs funds away from where Sydney needs it most: public transport.
As exorbitant an amount as is currently estimated to fulfil 2 out of 3 phases of the project, we are still left guessing what the final amount will be. In 2012, we were told $10 billion. Then we were told $14.8 billion. Now, they tell us, a staggering $16.8 billion. Imagine what we could do with that money if it was invested in public amenity. We would only need half that amount to give Sydney a fully integrated public transport system, on par with some of the world’s best cities. We would have leftover to invest in public education and public health.
The Local Impact
The Baird Government wants to forge ahead with a project that is upsetting many in the community; so far, we are faced with the compulsory acquisition of many homes, ripping up parks, including 350 trees targeted for removal in the much loved Sydney Park, reduced air quality, exhaust vents placed near schools, and much more. The damage to the much loved and unique suburbs around Alexandria, Waterloo, and up to the currently revitalised area of Green Square will be palpable, funnelling unprecedented amounts of traffic onto already congested streets. The heart of the city will be a real life board game of Rush Hour, without the logic to be gained from the experience.
The independent SGS Report found that significant damage will be caused by Westconnex, while the NSW Auditor-General has criticised the government for their lack of transparency. This project will have some of the most devastating and far-reaching consequences that our city has seen.
More info: http://stopwestconnex.org.au/
See my public statements on Westconnex here:
January 2016 – Submission on Westconnex to Department of Planning
September 2015 – Westconnex disconnects from environmental obligations
September 2015 – Westconnex Question on Notice
December 2014 – Westconnex Notice of Motion