Residents say no to WestConnex tollway

January 23, 2014

More than 200 people attended a rally on January 18 in Goddard Park, Concord, in Sydney's inner west, to protest against the WestConnex motorway project.

The rally was organised by the WestCon Action Group, which is campaigning against the NSW and federal governments' $11.5 billion tollway-tunnel plan — Australia's single most expensive road project.

Rally chair Amanda Bull told the crowd: "When I first heard about the proposal I thought: How could infrastructure of this major size be put in small suburban streets?" reported.

"Houses and people's lives are being affected. I'm concerned about our health, the implications of air quality and the implications of accessibility of roads. The tunnel portals are coming our of our streets.

"Why isn't there any compensation for residents living 200 metres away from these portals?"

Greens NSW transport spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi said WestConnex was a waste of public funds and the government should invest in public transport such as rail and light rail for the city.

Several local Liberal and Labor MPs and councillors tried to justify the WestConnex project, while criticising some aspects of its implementation. Some speakers faced heckling from the crowd and calls of "Stop WestConnex".

A series of motions were put to the rally and passed.

They were:

• "Reject the WestConnex concept plan in its current form and call for other effective transport solutions.
• “Call for state and federal government investment in public and effective transport, not the West Connex private tollway.
• “Call for the release of detailed concept plans and maps for the project to enable informed analysis and community responses to the concept.
• “Call for the extension of the submission date to April to allow for community consultation and discussion of the concept.
• “Compensation/remediation for residents who are directly affected by the tunnel, but where their homes have not been acquired.
• “Council and state/federal members to provide ongoing local community support to residents who are currently being resumed by WestConnex.”