Here are twelve reasons why WestConnex won't work.
We will be including these with our community submission to WestConnex, so make sure you sign it!
- It is part of a plan to drastically increase privatised road transport throughout Sydney rather than to build long term environmentally sustainable, public transport. The recommendation to approve this infrastructure is dependent on the construction of more large, prohibitively costly tollroads north and south of Sydney which will lock out cheaper and more desirable public transport options for many decades.
- Given the NSW government will sell the majority share ownership of this project as part of the sale of the Sydney Motorway Corporation, the costs and consequences of the project will be non-transparent and put the public’s interest at risk.
- It will impact negatively on the health and wellbeing of residents in the inner west specifically increasing toxic pollution levels near the proposed unfiltered ventilation stacks which are located in residential areas and also near schools and parks. Particulate Matter affects more people than any other pollutant and the most health-damaging particles are those with a diameter of 10 microns or less, (≤ PM10), which can penetrate and lodge deep inside the lungs which are those which will be concentrated in highly densely populated areas as a result of WestConnex.
- This plan will lead to decades of unacceptable traffic congestion in the inner west. The EIS shows that the project will cause increased congestion on the existing road network in already congested key road arteries in the inner west including parts of Mascot, on Frederick Street at Haberfield, Victoria Road north of Iron Cove Bridge, Johnston Street in Annandale and on the Western Distributor until other unfunded and unplanned major road projects are completed. This increase in traffic congestion and associated pollution is unacceptable.
- The plan will lead to the imposition of extended clearways on key high streets in the inner west including King Street which will destroy businesses and impact negatively on the social and cultural fabric of the community.
- The plan will impact on key high level heritage protection areas and sites in Newtown with a significant number of heritage buildings in the project’s footprint. The impact on these buildings is not quantified and damage to them will seriously impact our national cultural history.
- The level of uncertainty and risk which have to be resolved after planning approval for this project to eventuate is unacceptable. The M4-M5 Link EIS does not contain detail of the design and construction approach but is only indicative with significant elements of the project, including the actual route and real construction impacts, not planned. It is unacceptable to seek Planning approval for a project of this size, cost and social and environmental impact, without supplying this essential detail.
- The proposal to construct three layers of tunnel and interchange under homes in Lilyfield and Rozelle is untried anywhere in the world and there are no existing safety guidelines for such a construction. Allowing a future private construction company to make fundamental decisions about infrastructure of this size is unacceptable and will place the community at severe health, social and environment risk.
- The rationale and justification for WestConnex as a link from the west to the airport and Port Botany is no longer current. The WestConnex project and the M4-M5 Link has been justified as a State Significant Infrastructure (SSI) project by providing a link to Sydney’s west with the airport and the Port Botany precinct. This link is not now included in the WestConnex project plan and therefore the justification for the project is no longer valid and the whole project should be reassessed and withdrawn as SSI.
- The Business Case for this project is inaccurate and misleading and has not been amended to reflect the significant changes to this project’s scope from the March 2016 SEARS to revisions in Sept and then November 2016.
- There are at least 13 significant Aboriginal sites within 500 metres of the WestConnex project corridor and the Iron Cove Link including rock art and shelters, middens, open artefact sites and potential archaeological deposits which may be negatively impacted by the M4-M5 works especially as the specific routes and construction methods are unknown and so the potential impact could be severe.
- There are high risks identified to the operation of the project related to climate change, including an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme rainfall and an increase in frequency and intensity of extreme heat events. Of note is the extreme risk of flooding at Rozelle as a result of intense rainfall combined with sea level rise and an increase in extreme storm surges into Rozelle Bay. These risks have not been properly assessed and no mitigation proposals have been included in this plan. The expenditure of billions of dollars of public money on a project with risks such as these is irresponsible.