Council calls for stronger enforcement of WestConnex works
9 February 2017
Inner West Council is calling for the State Government to improve WestConnex compliance enforcement by allowing Council officers to monitor and penalise any breaches of consent conditions.
The call comes after continuous complaints from residents near the works in Haberfield and Ashfield. Council expects residents’ complaints to increase as works in St Peters ramp up.
“While Council was successful in securing a dedicated WestConnex Compliance Officer (funded by Department of Planning & Environment (DP&E) and based within Inner West Council’s WestConnex Unit) it has quickly become apparent that we need more resources,” said Administrator of Inner West Council Richard Pearson.
“We are asking the State Government to not only give us more resources, but also allow our own Council officers to assist in monitoring and enforcing compliance.
“While our existing compliance officer is doing a very good job under difficult circumstances, he will certainly need help as the WestConnex project ramps up,” Mr Pearson said.
“One person is simply is not enough to monitor the works, with Stage 2 (New M5) now getting underway, while Stage 1 (M4 East) continues to raise compliance issues,” Mr Pearson said.
Haberfield WestConnex issues include construction noise (particularly at night), trucks not adhering to approved routes, dust, service relocations, employees parking in streets and the impact of road closures/diversions.
The extensive activity taking place in St Peters include demolitions along Campbell Street, road/footway closures/diversions, and trees being removed.
“It’s frustrating for Council, because many complaints are lodged with us, rather than Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC),” Mr Pearson said.
“Council staff often find themselves acting as go-betweens, relaying complaints to SMC and DP&E. We need more resources to sort out these issues ourselves,” he said.
The lobbying of State Government to take over WestConnex compliance in local areas is just one of a number of ways Council is protecting the community from the unpopular road project.
Council has also told the State Government we do not support a dive site in Leichhardt or Lilyfield.
As well, Council is funding a traffic study to look at ‘rat runs’ on local streets as motorists exit Haberfield and St Peter’s portals, securing expert analysis of the M4/M5 Link proposal so as to propose real and practical improvements, and providing advice for residents whose properties are being acquired.
“We are also determined to improve local outcomes, by investigating solutions for the entire inner west, such as more green space, increased active and public transport and fewer cars on surface roads,” Mr Pearson said.