Court win deals massive blow to WestConnex

The NSW Supreme Court ruling that the State Government’s acquisition of property in the Rozelle Goods Yard for WestConnex was invalid is a body blow to the project.

The acquisition of the Desane Group property at 68-72 Lilyfield Road, Rozelle, has been found to be “motivated by improper purpose”, calling into question the entire compulsory acquisition process the Government has undertaken for WestConnex.

The Government is now unable to acquire the land it needs to build the Rozelle Interchange, which may also be an engineering impossibility.

Worse still, it can now be revealed that damning court testimony from senior Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) officers during the court case confirmed WestConnex is all about generating more revenue from already hard-pressed motorists.

During cross-examination Daniel Powrie, RMS executive and former Project Director for WestConnex Stage 3, stated the following ...

“Without Rozelle, a lot less cars would use the tunnel. The more access and egress you get - more cars you get into the tunnel, the more toll revenue you create, thus the success of the tunnel,” said Powrie.*

Mr Powrie went on to say that the main benchmark for the State Government to see WestConnex as a success comes down to toll revenue.

“Well why are we here? Why are we building a tolled motorway? For value for money for the government, a motorway that provides revenue is a success,” he added.*

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said the Government’s plans for WestConnex are falling apart and that it was now obvious the entire project is based on fleecing motorists and not easing congestion.

“We’ve known all along that the way homes and businesses have been compulsory acquired for WestConnex has been unethical,” he said.

“Today’s judgement shows that the Government’s bullying tactics have actually been improper.

“The cat is out of the bag. The most senior bureaucrats responsible for building WestConnex have testified that the project is all about bumping up tolls not busting congestion,” said Mayor Byrne.

“It turns out we were right all along. This ridiculous, reckless project isn’t about making Sydney easier to get around. It’s about slugging motorists with more tolls.

“And it’s now completely unclear how the Rozelle Interchange can be built,” he added.

“WestConnex has been the worst planned infrastructure project in the history of NSW and is now falling in a heap.”

*Quotes extracted from transcript of court proceedings in Hammerschlag J, 28.02.18, 2017/00243774 - Desane Properties Pty Limited Vs State of New South Wales

For further information, contact John Roper on 9392 5914.

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Page last updated: 20 Nov 2018