Government should use WestConnex fine to protect residents

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Inner West Council is calling on the State Government to use a nearly half million dollar fine against WestConnex contractors CPB to help protect local residents from the safety impacts of the Motorway.

Last month CPB Contractors, the builders of the St Peters Westconnex Interchange, were fined $445 000 for “causing an offensive odour” after they failed to properly manage leachate on the site.

The company is also responsible for the M4 Widening, the M4 East Motorway and the New M5 Motorway tunnel from Rozelle to St Peters.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said that residents and businesses of St Peters had complained for months about the disgusting smell coming from the construction site before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finally took action.

“It took hundreds of complaints before any action was taken, and it then took a further two and a half years to bring CPB to account,” he said.

CPB were ordered to pay $295,000 to the Environmental Trust and further $150,000 to cover the EPAs investigation and legal costs.

“Given the length of time it took for the EPA to take action, that nearly half million dollars should be returned to the St Peters community, not State Government coffers,” said Mayor Byrne.

“It would be far better spent putting safety measures in place in the streets of St Peters, where the safety of school children is being put at risk as a result of WestConnex traffic.

“The new St Peters Interchange will connect WestConnex with Campbell Road, which provides the main access to St Peters Public School.

“Parents and the Principal are already deeply concerned about the safety implications for kids getting to and from school.

“Council has completed a traffic study that shows us how to make streets safer in the wake of WestConnex. Given that our community is bearing the brunt of this project, it’s only right that the State Government fund its implementation.”

In 2017, after hundreds of complaints from nearby residents and businesses, the EPA investigated 33 complaints about the stench from the St Peters site.

The EPA found that the smell was caused by untreated leachate or contaminated water, which caused serious health risks to the community including ‘physical pain, illness and difficulties breathing, including asthma attacks.’

For further information please contact Kate Walsh on 0421 224 366.

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Page last updated: 17 Oct 2019