Community groups from across Sydney have condemned the NSW government's announcement that the community consultation period for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the M4 East section of the huge WestConnex tollway will be limited to 45 days.
NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes released the Environmental Impact Statement on September 9.
NSW Greens spokesperson for WestConnex and MP for Newtown Jenny Leong said: “This is the largest, most complex road building project in Australia’s history.
“The project includes two three-lane 5.5 kilometre tunnels carved under people’s homes and our neighbourhoods and polluting stacks that are clearly going to create devastating environmental impacts.
“It’s extraordinary that the planning minister is only allowing the community and experts a month and a half to review what will clearly be a massive, complex document, to consider their views and then submit them.”
Dr Cassi Plate, secretary of NoWestCONnex Public Transport said: "Forty-five days for unfunded community groups to respond to an EIS document is a sham and an insult.
“There are thousands of pages produced by hundreds of paid staff to be interpreted and responded to by the many groups opposed to the WestConnex Tollway systems.
"The recent NorthConnex EIS report was extended from 30 days to 60 days.
“We demand 90 days to respond to a report into a section of the multibillion-dollar, 35 kilometre-long tollways and tunnels that will dramatically alter the face of Sydney with no business case to prove any improvement to our city’s transport problems."
Amid toots of approval from Parramatta Road motorists, about 50 people marched from Haberfield Primary School to the proposed site of the M4 East ventilation stacks on September 9.
The site is within 500 metres of the school and two childcare centres.