The total cost of building the controversial WestConnex tollway, plus necessary connecting roads, could reach $45 billion, according to an analysis by the Sydney City Council. The council's analysis adds the estimated $29 billion cost of building and widening new and existing roads to support traffic flows from the 33-kilometre project, to the $17 billion cost of WestConnex itself.
The campaign against the NSW Coalition government's controversial WestConnex tollway is mounting. In addition to various locality groups maintaining their protests, a combined rally — “Grand Theft WestConnex — has been called outside NSW State Parliament on March 30 from 4.30pm.
The rally has been endorsed by a number of anti-WestConnex groups, and is seeking further endorsements. The rally is demanding that the $1.6 billion federal loan for WestConnex, which is yet to be paid, be stopped.
Victoria passes Climate Change Act
Victoria’s new Climate Change Act, which was passed on February 23, will set Victoria on the path to zero climate pollution.
The act will establish a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; require five-yearly interim emissions targets from 2020 onwards; improve accountability and transparency on efforts to cut emissions; and ensure all arms of government are factoring climate change impacts and emissions reductions into their decision making and policy setting.
A community meeting in inner city Newtown, called at short notice to hear from WestConnex and a panel of traffic, heritage and health experts, attracted some 170 people on December 6.
Peter Boyle, speaking on behalf of Vivien Johnson of the newly-formed Newtown Residents Against WestConnex, opened the meeting explaining how it came about — residents being letter-boxed by Johnson informing them that WestConnex had re-routed the M4-M5 link right underneath their houses.
When it is suddenly announced that an eight-lane toll road is about to be tunnelled underneath a neighbourhood, it is no surprise that the community springs into action.
This is exactly what has happened over the past month in my neighbourhood of Newtown, one of the oldest suburbs of Sydney.
NSW Premier Mike Baird agreed on November 15 to meet with residents campaigning against the controversial $17 billion tollway WestConnex. His promise came after they staged a sit-in at NSW Parliament House that day.
At the start of question time, three protesters attempted to drop a banner from the gallery that read “No WestCONnex / Baird it’s time to listen”.
The trio then chanted “No WestConnex” and informed MPs that dozens of residents were waiting for Baird to speak to them. They were escorted out by security.
The first time residents in Newtown — one of the oldest suburbs in Sydney — heard of a new Westconnex tunnel route under their homes was when a couple of test drill sites were set up in the neighbourhood. They immediately responded with a series of early morning protests at these sites.
Then an article in the November 11 Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Mike Baird Coalition government had decided to bring forward the construction of an eight-lane tunnel to link the M4 and M5 tollways.
The battle over the controversial $18 billion WestConnex tollway project through the inner-western suburbs is heating up.
The Sydney Motorway Corporation has been granted conditional approval by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment to commence work in Sydney Park, meaning dozens of trees are set for removal.
While the New South Wales government's disastrous WestConnex tollroad project is facing new challenges, the public campaign against the $17 billion privatised road network continues to grow.
The latest headache for the government came about when chief commissioner for the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) Lucy Turnbull triggered a public outcry after stating she was unaware of any large-scale destruction of houses in the heritage suburb of Haberfield, precisely as homes were being demolished in the inner-western Sydney suburbs.