On the evening of May 22, more than 300 residents packed out Balmain Town Hall for a public meeting on the NSW Liberal government's proposed Western Harbour Tunnel toll road. This proposed 6km tunnel will connect to the fiercely contested WestConnex tunnel interchange in Rozelle going under the Balmain peninsula, then under Sydney Harbour before connecting to the Warringah Freeway.
The meeting was called by NSW Greens Balmain MP Jamie Parker who condemned the project as "yet another polluting, destructive, private tollway."
Parker highlighted the fact that the NSW Liberal cabinet has directed the transport department to only propose tollroad options for this and several other projects.
The directive also explicitly that there be no public transport alternatives developed, added.
Residents were concerned about proposed smoke stacks, construction sites and the focus on private rather than public transport. A residents action group was formed to take up the campaign to the government and inform the wider public especially after the proposed privatisation of the inner west bus services. It has called a "Hands off our parks in Brichgrove, Balmain and Rozelle" rally for June 17 (details here).