‘Not too late to stop’ WestConnex tollway disaster, forum told

An inquiry into the impact of WestConnex has been established by the NSW upper house.

“We owe it to future generations to do our best to halt this disastrous project,” Greens MLA for Newtown Jenny Leong told an August 22 public meeting on the controversial $17 billion WestConnex tollway project.

Addressing a forum organised by the WestConnex Action Group (WAG) in Newtown, Leong said that the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into WestConnex “will give the campaign against WestConnex a timely boost”.

An inquiry into the impact of WestConnex was established by NSW state parliament’s upper house, despite opposition from the state Coalition government, following pressure from Greens MPs and community activists.

Monash University professor Chris Nash, who also addressed the meeting, said, “It is not too late to stop this project”.

Nash said: “Two private consortiums are now bidding to buy WestConnex. Both involve major industry superannuation funds.

“The favorite is TransUrban, whose major investor is UniSuper, representing university staff. The other is IFM, backed by the country's biggest super fund, Australian Super, which employs former [Australian Council of Trade Unions] officials Garry Weaven and Greg Combet.

Nash called for pressure to be put on UniSuper and Australian Super to pull out of the WestConnex project as a way of halting its progress.

The meeting was also addressed by Inner West councillor Pauline Lockie, City of Sydney deputy mayor Jess Miller and Haberfield resident, Kathryn Calman.

In discussion, community members were urged to contribute submissions to the Legislative Council inquiry into WestConnex.

[Submissions to the inquiry close on August 31 and can be completed online here.]