WestConnex Juggernaut Set to Hit Rozelle & Camperdown

Vague construction details, dive sites in residential areas, ventilation stacks and extended pain for local communities feature in the State Government’s M4/M5 WestConnex Link plans, released today.

Inner West Council is acting immediately to finalise the engagement of expert consultants to analyse the WestConnex Design Plans for Stage 3 of the WestConnex project.

Administrator of Inner West Council Mr Richard Pearson said that while the Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC) had listened to some of Council and the community’s feedback, it was disappointing to see Darley Road still on the list of possible dive sites.

“A Darley Road dive site would inflict noise, pollution and traffic chaos on a quiet area for years,” he said.

“Council has independent advice that the tunnel could proceed without a dive site in the densely populated Leichhardt / Lilyfield. Failing that, we will continue to push for the site to be located at the western end of the Rozelle Rail Yards, a Council suggestion which the Plans confirm is at least still on the table.

“We also have concerns with the proposed Camperdown dive site, particularly its proximity to the Bridge Road School.

“With construction traffic occupying the bus lane, it will also have a big impact on pedestrian safety and public transport.

The Plans also confirm ventilation stacks at Haberfield, Rozelle Rail Yards, Victoria Road near the Iron Cove Bridge, and St Peters as part of the project.

Mr Pearson said the plans seemed to be deliberately vague on construction details for the project, with a map (figure 6.1) showing large areas as ‘potential construction areas’.

“That level of generality raises more questions than answers and just causes more anxiety in the community,” he said. “The SMC needs to release more details urgently.”

The Plan does seem to confirm that Haberfield residents face years more WestConnex pain, with the SMC planning to continue using existing construction sites at Wattle Street and Walker Avenue until the end of the project.

Council earlier this year allocated $250,000 to engage consultants to examine the design plans and the Environmental Impact Statement.

Mr Pearson said that Council was acting to protect the local community from the impacts of the state infrastructure project.

“We already have consultants carrying out traffic modelling to determine the likely rat runs that will result from WestConnex and how to combat them,” he said. “Now we will get independent experts to look closely at the plans, identify the problems for our community and come up with real solutions for the State Government to consider.”

Mr Pearson said that he was pleased to see the SMC rule out surface works at further local parks.

“It is good to have confirmation that Blackmore Oval, Easton Park and Pioneers Park will be saved from the WestConnex juggernaut,” he said. “They have also confirmed that, after a successful campaign mounted by Council and the community, there will be no dive site next to Leichhardt High School.

The Plans, released without any notification to Council, come on the one year anniversary of the council mergers.

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