WestConnex

WestConnex Parliamentary Inquiry submission

On 21 June 2018 the NSW Legislative Council’s Upper House Public Accountability Committee announced it had commenced an inquiry into the impact of WestConnex. Further information is available on the NSW Parliament website. The inquiry will investigate the business case, benefit-cost analysis, governance structure of the organisations involved, compulsory acquisitions and relationship to other motorway projects.

Inner West Council remains opposed to WestConnex and has lodged a strong submission that raises a variety of issues, including: inadequate business case; poor planning and management processes; air quality impacts; construction impacts such as noise, vibration, dust, odour and contaminants; noise, safety and amenity impacts from truck movements; worker parking pressures; and the social and economic impacts of the compulsory acquisitions. Three public workshops were held in Haberfield, Leichhardt and St Peters focusing on gaining community feedback and assisting residents with information to lodge their own submission. Council's submission can be viewed on the NSW Parliament website.

WestConnex Local Area Improvement Strategy (LAIS)

In late 2016 Council resolved to undertake a study to assess the operational traffic impacts WestConnex will have on residential streets in the Inner West Council area.

This resolution was prompted by a concern that WestConnex conditions of approval required Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to consider WestConnex traffic impacts after the project had opened to traffic.

Council is of the view that it is imperative to consider traffic impacts before opening to ensure streets are protected from potential traffic rat-runs from day one.

Accordingly, Council has commissioned consultants to undertake traffic modelling to identify potentially-affected streets, and to develop a WestConnex Local Area Improvement Strategy (LAIS) to protect these streets.

The LAIS is intended to guide the design and ultimately implementation of a series of traffic calming schemes to protect streets from WestConnex-related traffic.

The proposed treatments are indicative and will required further investigation and community engagement before final draft schemes can be considered 

The estimated total cost of LAIS works is up to $29 million, and it is intended that Council seeks funding from RMS for these works, arguing that RMS funding is justified as WestConnex has created the need for the works.

Subject to funding, the LAIS would be implemented in a similar way that all of Council’s Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) schemes are implemented – involving local community consultation, detailed design, approval by Traffic Committee and Council and finally implementation.

Officer's report to 8 May 2018 Council meeting

To view the officer’s report on the WestConnex LAIS, visit Council's business papers and minutes page.

Final LAIS report

The final WestConnex LAIS report is available here. It comprises the main report by Beca Australia, and a traffic modelling report by Veitch Lister Consulting (Appendix E).

What is Council doing on WestConnex?

 Council is taking steps to secure the best possible outcomes for the residents of the inner west.

  • Council does not accept that Sydney Motorway Corporation's (SMC) proposal is the best or only way of delivering better transport for Sydney.
  • Engaging experts to understand the impact of the work by conducting traffic modelling, analyse the M4 - M5 Link design plans and investigate the proposed dive site in Leichhardt. Council has committed $500,000 to ensure we have the best possible analysis and advice.
  • Advocating for more green space and better use of residual lands.
  • Ensuring the project complies with its obligations to local communities.
  • Investigating improvements to the proposed Linear Park between Rozelle and North Annandale
  • Providing legal advice for residents whose properties are being acquired
  • Advocating against local dive sites
  • Holding a regular Council WestConnex community liaison forum
  • Commissioning legal advice

It’s up to all of us to stay informed about the project and get behind Council’s efforts to stand up for the inner west.

Predicting traffic impacts

Inner West Council has funded a $250,000 traffic study to help us understand the impacts of WestConnex on inner west streets and protect our residents from the impacts.

It looks at the likely ‘rat runs’ on local streets in Haberfield, Ashfield, St Peters, Tempe, Rozelle and Leichhardt, as motorists try to avoid tolls and move between the portals or into the city.

The State Government says it won’t address this problem until a year after WestConnex opens – but steps can and must be taken before the motorway opens.

The traffic study helps us to protect our community. It helps us to identify traffic calming measures – street narrowings, angle parking, landscaping and slow points – which can be put in place before the impact occurs.

This is the proactive approach needed to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety, discourage rat runs and keep traffic on main roads by making it the easiest option.

Take a look at a map of likely rat runs across the inner west once WestConnex opens here. (PDF 3.8MB)

What local outcomes can be improved?

More green space

Council has lobbied for residual WestConnex lands to become new green spaces or community facilities, and for playing fields over the Rozelle interchange. We will fight to ensure all lands benefit and can be used by our community.

Increased active transport

Council is advocating for new active transport (walking and cycling) routes, like parkland and a bike track alongside Victoria Road.

Fewer cars on surface roads

Council has successfully pushed for more of the motorway to be located underground, in particular the Rozelle interchange.

Increased public transport

Council is lobbying for a Guided Electric Transit system on Parramatta Road, which is cost effective, used globally and could be in place from day one of WestConnex.

Expert analysis

Council committed $250,000 to have expert engineering, air pollution and transport consultants analyse the M4-M5 Link design and Environmental Impact Statement. It will help us to assess the documents quickly, propose real and practical improvements and have the evidence to lobby for better outcomes for our residents.

Increased enforcement

With work in Haberfield intensifying, Council has approached the State Government to enable us to help monitor construction crews, make sure they are complying with their construction conditions and using approved routes – and penalise those that are not.

Work with Council to protect our local community

With your help we can work together to protect our community from WestConnex

Public meetings

Council regularly holds public meetings to gain valuable community feedback on key construction and operational affects of WestConnex.

Council's WestConnex Unit

The WestConnex Unit’s role includes:

  • ensuring resident concerns are addressed in current and future stages of the project
  • voicing resident objections
  • ensuring Council is represented at WestConnex meetings
  • allowing more coordinated and effective advocacy on the project
  • undertaking key submissions that consider impacts on local communities
  • working to get the best outcomes for the community.

Contact the unit with enquiries about WestConnex that matter to you.

Phone 9392 5219 or email westconnex@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

Compliance Officer

The WestConnex Compliance Officer's role includes:

  • making sure construction crews are complying with their development consent including; breaches on noise or air pollution, out of hours work, salvaging of heritage items or vegetation removal
  • if the Officer determines that a breach has taken place, he can take action ranging from warning letters to the issuing of fines as well as orders to rectify. He can also, if a breach is significant, recommend legal action.

Contact the Compliance Officer if you believe construction crews are not complying with their approval.

Phone 9274 6306 or 1300 305 695 or via email atcompliance@planning.nsw.gov.au (Attention: WestConnex).

Submissions and reports

The WestConnex Unit is constantly working on various submissions and reports in a continued effort to ensure that Sydney Motorway Corporation is aware of the needs and requirements of local residents. Submissions can be found in each of the relevant Stages of WestConnex areas.

Previous councils

You can read all of the information and submissions of the previous councils at:

Legal Advice

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.

You can view the advice below:

Given the expert advice received to date, Council will not proceed with any legal action.

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

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.”

Council's dilapidation report service

Council is offering to those property owners who are affected by Stage 3 of the M4-M5 Link project a dilapidation report prior to commencement of works. Visit the dilapidation reports page for more information.

Media Releases

For information on how Council has been lobbying to protect our residents from the effects of WestConnex, please see our media releases:

Meetings with Sydney Motorway Corporation

WestConnex Community Liaison Forum

The purpose of the WestConnex Community Liaison Forum is to:

  • Provide forum members with a regular forum to raise issues of concern with WestConnex with senior staff to enable Council to respond to those concerns and/or seek responses from State Government.
  • Enable Inner West Council to share with forum members and obtain member views on key initiatives being undertaken by Council to oppose WestConnex
  • Enable forum members to raise traffic, environmental and other WestConnex construction concerns with Inner West Council to enable Council to pursue those issues with State Government
  • Enable forum members to disseminate information to their constituent members regarding WestConnex

Terms of Reference have been prepared and adopted for the WestConnex Community Liaison Forum and are available here: (PDF 68KB)

WestConnex Community Liaison Forum Minutes

Minutes 6 September 2018 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 148.6KB)

Minutes 2 August 2018 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 63.9KB)

Minutes 5 July 2018 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 89.1KB)

Minutes 7 June 2018 WestConnex Liaison Forum  (PDF 113KB)

Minutes 3 May 2018 Westconnex Liaison Forum (PDF 63.4KB)

Minutes 6 April 2018 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 76KB)

Minutes 1 March 2018 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 413.8KB)

Minutes 1 February 2018 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 248.3KB)

Minutes 7 December 2017 WestConnex Liaison Forum  (PDF 249KB)

Minutes 2 November 2017 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 232.4KB)

Minutes 5 October 2017 WestConnex Liaison Forum  (PDF 180.8KB)

Minutes 7 September 2017 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 194KB)

Minutes 3 August 2017 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 191.6KB)

Minutes 6 July 2017 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 183.4KB)

Minutes 1 June 2017 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 177.4KB)

Minutes 4 May 2017 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 183.3KB)

Minutes 7 April 2017 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 249.4KB)

Minutes 2 March 2017 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 243.6KB)

Minutes 2 February 2017 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 257.4KB)

Minutes 1 December 2016 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 218.6KB)

Minutes 27 October 2016 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 43.3KB)

Minutes 29 September 2016 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 33.3KB)

Minutes 25 August Meeting 2016 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 18.3KB)

Notes 28 July Meeting 2016 WestConnex Liaison Forum (PDF 20.4KB)

Ways to Have Your Say

Lobby the State Government

Contact your local State Member of Parliament, Minister for WestConnex, Minister for Roads, or the Premier.

Premier 
Gladys Berejiklian MP 
www.nsw.gov.au/contact-us/contact-the-premier/

Minister for WestConnex
Stuart Ayres MP
02 8574 6500 
office@ayres.minister.nsw.gov.au

Member for Balmain 
Jamie Parker MP
02 9660 7586 
jamie.parker@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Member for Newtown
Jenny Leong MP
02 9517 2800
jenny.leong@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Member for Strathfield
Jodi McKay MP
02 9747 1711
jodi.mckay@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Member for Summer Hill
Jo Haylen MP
02 9572 5900
summerhill@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Member for Heffron
Ron Hoenig MP
02 9699 8166 
heffron@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Contact Sydney Motorway Corporation

Comment to Sydney Motorway Corporation: 1800 660 248 or info@westconnex.com.au
Stage 1 enquiries: M4 East community team, 1800 660 248, info@m4east.com.au
Stage 2 enquiries: New M5 community team, 1800 660 248, info@newm5.com.au
Stage 3 enquiries: 1800 660 248 or info@westconnex.com.au (Attention: Stage 3 enquiry)

Join a community group

No WestConnex and No WestConnex Annandale:

http://nowpt.nationbuilder.com/
https://www.facebook.com/NoWestconnex/
https://www.facebook.com/nowestconnexannandale
@nowestconnex

WestConnex Action Group:
http://www.westconnexactiongroup.org.au/%20
https://www.facebook.com/westconnexactiongroup%20
@WestConnexAG

RAW (Rozelle Against WestConnex):
http://rozelleagainstwestconnex.org/

WestProtects
https://www.facebook.com/WestProtects

Leichhardt Against WestConnex
https://www.facebook.com/groups/163289874107214/?fref=nf

Every effort has been made to identify all of the local action groups. If you are involved in a group that is not included here, please email us at westconnex@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

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Page last updated: 16 Nov 2018