Legal Advice Dashes WestConnex Hopes

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 and the report is now available for the public to view at www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/WestConnex.

Administrator Richard Pearson said that, given the expert advice received to date, Council would not proceed with any legal action.

“I understand and appreciate the depth of feeling in the community about this roadway, but in Mr Robertson’s own words, the approvals are unassailable,” he said.

“Given the strength of the argument against us pursuing action, it would be irresponsible of Council to waste ratepayers’ money on a court case that is sure to fail.”

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

Mr Robertson is also retained by the City of Sydney and a local resident action group to advise on possible WestConnex challenges.

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.”

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Page last updated: 20 Nov 2018