WestConnex

From Ashfield and Haberfield, St Peters, Camperdown and Rozelle, WestConnex affects a large part of the Inner West Council local government area.

Inner West Council continues to reflect the positions of the previous Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville councils, which were all clearly in opposition to WestConnex.

Inner West Council has no powers to stop WestConnex.

While Council continues to oppose WestConnex, we also have a duty to seek improvements to the project that will make impacts more manageable for our residents.

We can and will hold WestConnex contractors and the Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC) to account.

The Sydney Motorway Corporate's WestConnex web page is at http://www.westconnex.com.au/  It contains information about the various stages, how you can have your say, media releases, links to work notifications and other information. You can also subscribe to their email updates.

Council will invest $500,000 to analyse WestConnex. $250,000 is for traffic studies into the likely impact on our local streets and ways to lessen them – work which the State has no intention of doing until 12 months after WestConnex is in operation. $250,000 is for expert consultants to help analyse and respond to the Stage 3 Design Plans and Environmental Impact Statement – both due early 2017. Read more here.

Legal Advice: Council has made available legal advice received regarding prospects of mounting a legal challenge against WestConnex. Find more on the legal advice here

Stage 1 - Ashfield, Haberfield Stage 2 - Beverley Hills to St PetersStage 3 - Camperdown, Rozelle, AnnandaleRead the WestConnex Weekly Update

What is Council doing on Westconnex?

As a result of Council’s advocacy, the State Government is now:

  • Funding a local WestConnex compliance officer: The Officer can respond quickly to local concerns about construction work. He has the power to enforce all development approvals that apply to WestConnex works.
  • Establishing an independently chaired local community forum: The Forum will meet regularly in the Inner West and provide a way for the community to speak directly with the project team and seek improvements to the project. Details will be provided as they become available.
  • Actively considering changes to the project in response to the Inner West Community’s concerns.

Council is:

  • Holding a regular Council WestConnex community forum: This Forum has met twice and is helping community members and action groups to meet and discuss concerns. Members are identifying issues on which Council is lobbying the State Government.
  • Lobbying the State Government: Council continues to advocate to the State Government on issues ranging from reducing the impact of geotechnical drilling on our open space; to improvements in the removal of spoilage; from the salvage and distribution of heritage items; to pedestrian and vehicle safety during works.
  • Establishing a WestConnex Response Unit: Council is finalising a Unit to take a strong role in ensuring your concerns are addressed in current and future stages of the Project. It will allow us to be more coordinated and effective in our advocacy.
  • Commissioning legal advice: Council has commissioned legal advice on the prospects of challenging the WestConnex approvals. However, preliminary review of the advice received does not indicate any prospects of success.
  • Pushing for the release of the Russell Report by the State Government: This report addresses improved acquisition practices for major infrastructure projects such as WestConnex and Council has requested its immediate release.
  • Facilitating Grass Roots Advocacy: Council has funded a Community Organiser position to enable community groups to better advocate on WestConnex issues.
  • Advocating for better outcomes on possible Darley Road Dive Site: Council is lobbying for adequate information about a possible spoil extraction site in Leichhardt, and to make sure that traffic, noise and other impacts on Darley Road and surrounding residents receive full consideration.

How do I contact the Compliance Officer?

The WestConnex Compliance Officer is available on 0429 782 853 or 9228 6306 or via email compliance@planning.nsw.gov.au (Attention WestConnex).

You can speak to the Officer about construction crews that you believe are not complying with their development consent.

This could include breaches on noise or air pollution, out of hours work, salvaging of heritage items or vegetation removal.

If the Officer determines that a breach has taken place, he can take action ranging from warning letters to the issuing of fines as well as orders to rectify. He can also, if a breach is significant, recommend legal action.

Legal Advice

Advice from prominent Sydney barrister Tim Robertson SC has indicated that there is no chance of Inner West Council mounting a successful legal challenge against the unpopular WestConnex Motorway project.

Mr Robertson’s advice was considered at Council’s meeting on Tuesday 27 September. You can view the advice below:

Given the expert advice received to date, Council will not proceed with any legal action.

Mr Tim Robertson SC is an Australian barrister who specializes in environmental, public, international, constitutional, property, native title and media law.

Mr Robertson’s advice examined the three approvals currently granted to the Westconnex project, namely, the M4 widening, the M4 East and the New M5. Mr Robertson considered both the approval process and the approvals granted as a result of the process.

Due to the restrictive nature of the State Government legislation under which WestConnex approvals are given, legal appeals cannot address the merits of the project, but must instead rely on flaws in the legal process to have any prospect of success.

In Mr Robertson’s opinion, as outlined in the conclusion to his advice, “the decisions to approve the M4 widening, New M4 East and New M5 are… unassailable on legal grounds.”

Submissions

Council is continuing to push the State Government to make open spaces around the WestConnex M4 East more attractive and better suited to the needs of the inner west community.

On 25 October 2016 Council resolved to make a submission to the M4 East.

Ordinary Council Meeting 25 October 2016, Item 5: WestConnex Stage 1 (M4 East) draft Urban Design & Landscape Plan (PDF 4.7MB).

In relation to this submission, the Administrator determined that Council:

  1. Receives and notes this report;
  2. Forwards to the WestConnex M4 East project team any comments additional to those made in the Council submission (in two parts at Attachments 1 & 2) as a late addendum to the submission; and
  3. Consistent with recommendation 2 above, forwards the following comments to the WestConnex M4 East project team:
    Council has concerns about construction and operational (traffic) noise impacts on properties on the western side of Wattle Street near its intersection with Parramatta Road, Haberfield. Council is particularly concerned about impacts on residents of dwellings at 14 to 24 Wattle Street, who currently endure significant construction impacts. They will also have no physical or other type of protection against noise from six lanes of traffic on Wattle Street when WestConnex is operational. It would appear these six dwellings will continue to suffer significantly greater noise impacts than others in the area as these dwellings (including bedrooms) are directly adjacent to heavy traffic – now and into the future. Council requests the WestConnex M4 East project team to re-examine the road alignment and landscape designs in this area to minimise construction and operational noise impacts on these dwellings. This could include physical or other forms of noise barriers between these dwellings and traffic on Wattle Street.
     

You can read all of the information and submissions of the previous councils at:

Further information will be provided on this website shortly.

Media Releases

For information on how Council has been lobbying to protect our residents from the effects of WestConnex, please see our media releases:

Meetings with Sydney Motorway Corporation

WestConnex Community Liaison Forum

The purpose of the WestConnex Community Liaison Forum is to:

  • Provide Forum members with a regular forum to raise issues of concern with WestConnex with the Administrator and senior staff to enable Council to respond to those concerns and/or seek responses from State Government.
  • Enable Inner West Council to share with Forum members and obtain member views on key initiatives being undertaken by Council to oppose WestConnex
  • Enable Forum members to raise traffic, environmental and other WestConnex construction concerns with Inner West Council to enable Council to pursue those issues with State Government
  • Enable Forum members to disseminate information to their constituent members regarding WestConnex.

Terms of Reference have been prepared and adopted for the WestConnex Community Liaison Forum and are available here: (PDF 68KB)

WestConnex Liaison Forum Minutes

Minutes 1 December 2016 WestConnex Liason Forum (PDF 218.6KB)

Minutes 27 October 2016 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 43.3KB)

Minutes 29 September 2016 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 33.3KB)


Minutes 25 August Meeting 2016 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 18.3KB)

Notes 28 July Meeting 2016 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 20.4KB)

 

What Can You Do?

Have Your Say

Stage 3 M4-M5 Link community consultation began on 10 August 2016. Go to: West Connex Get Involved

Who to contact

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian: 9228 5555, office@premier.nsw.gov.au, @GladysB
NSW Minister for Western Sydney, Minister for WestConnex, and Minister for Sport: Stuart Ayres:  8574 6500 or Visit the Stuart Ayres NSW Government webpage 
Comment to WestConnex Delivery Authority: 1800 660 248 or info@westconnex.com.au
Stage 1 enquiries: M4 East community team, 1800 660 248, info@m4east.com.au
Stage 2 enquiries: New M5 community team, 1800 660 248, info@newm5.com.au
Stage 3 enquiries: 1800 660 248 or info@westconnex.com.au (Attention: Stage 3 enquiry)

Join a community group

No WestConnex and No WestConnex Annandale:

http://westconnex.info
https://www.facebook.com/NoWestconnex/
https://www.facebook.com/nowestconnexannandale%20
@nowestconnex

WestConnex Action Group:
http://www.westconnexactiongroup.org.au/%20
https://www.facebook.com/westconnexactiongroup%20
@WestConnexAG

RAW (Rozelle Against WestConnex):
https://www.facebook.com/WestConnexRAGE

WestProtects
https://www.facebook.com/WestProtects

Leichhardt Against WestConnex
https://www.facebook.com/groups/163289874107214/?fref=nf

Every effort has been made to identify all of the local action groups. If you are involved in a group that is not included here, please email us at council@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

 

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