New Council renews opposition to WestConnex
Wednesday 4 October 2017
The newly elected Inner West Council last night recommitted itself a position of opposition to the Westconnex project.
At an Extraordinary Council Meeting, a proposal from Mayor Darcy Byrne to have Council adopt a policy of opposing the destructive project, while also launching a series of actions to ameliorate existing and future impacts on inner west residents, was supported by Councillors.
“We will vociferously oppose this reckless project as well as fighting for every possible protection for local residents, if the Government is so bloody-minded as to ram it through,” Mayor Byrne said.
"Everyone knows that elected Mayors and Councillors were removed from office so the Government could give the green light to WestConnex. Now that democracy has been restored we are going to hit back hard against their destructive agenda in the inner west.
“With so many unfiltered smoke stacks proposed for our area, it is literally the health and safety of our families that is the on the line here,” he said.
In addition to a policy of opposing the entire project, Council unanimously committed to the following actions:
- Dedicating a Council Officer within Council's WestConnex Unit to assist local activist groups with their advocacy and local residents with complaints about ongoing unacceptable impact
- Convening a series of on-site meetings for residents and business affected by construction and dive sites proposed in the Stage 3 EIS, to provide an assessment of impacts such as air quality, traffic and construction. Meetings will be held at Haberfield, Leichhardt, Rozelle, Camperdown and St Peters
- Initiating an independent dilapidation and structural assessment service for home and business owners impacted by tunnelling, so that they have an evidence base for compensation claims if their properties are damaged
- Seeking an urgent meeting with the Minister for WestConnex to discuss the ongoing and unacceptable impacts on residents in Haberfield and St Peters of night works, and the ongoing failure of the contractors to adhere to conditions of consent
- Demanding more stringent conditions of approval, stronger enforcement of compliance and improved management of construction contractors to stop unacceptable levels of noise, vibration, dust, truck traffic and employee parking
- Demanding actions that will curtail ‘rat-running’ on residential streets around the Haberfield, St Peters and Rozelle interchanges, including full funding from the NSW Government for all necessary traffic calming and amelioration
- Setting up a log of complaints register, so when residents do complain about WestConnex works to Sydney Motorway Corporation and other state agencies, Council will not only have a record of these complaints, but can also make additional representation on behalf of residents
“Council’s independent traffic modelling that will help us better understand air quality impacts of interchange traffic, and potential rat runs throughout the Council area, is almost ready and will be available to our community shortly,” Mayor Byrne added.
“This important work is being overseen by our dedicated Westconnex Unit, which has a budget of more than $800,000 this year,” Mayor Byrne said.
“They have identified many pressing concerns to do with the WestConnex project – including air quality impacts from emissions from unfiltered ventilation stacks, and noise, vibration, dust, truck traffic and employee parking demand.
“We need the Unit staff to stay on the case every step of the way, because of the astonishing lack of transparency, oversight and accountability the Government has displayed at every step of this project,” Mayor Byrne said.
At last night’s Extraordinary Meeting, Mayor Byrne also urged Councillors to join him in condemning, in principle, City of Sydney’s proposal for 13,000 units to be built at the site of the St Peters interchange.
He noted, “This would be an even greater increase in residential density than is proposed in total for Inner West Council area through the Government’s Sydenham to Bankstown rezoning proposals.”