Local P&C’s joined with Member for Summer Hill, Jo Haylen, to give the Westconnex project a fail grade this week and calling for more time for parents to assess the risks.
“Westconnex fails when it comes to traffic congestion, air quality, heritage preservation and unfair acquisitions,” said Ms Haylen.
“Our kids will look back and shake their heads that Westconnex was ever built, but in the short-term, they’ll have to deal with the immediate construction chaos,” said Ms Haylen.
Sherrill Nixon, P&C Vice President at Haberfield Public School and Donna Hosie, P&C President at Dobroyd Point, are both concerned local parents aren’t aware of the full impacts of the project.
"The parents at Haberfield Public School fear our children will be at the centre of a 'toxic triangle' of pollution stack and portals after three or more years of construction just metres away from the school," Ms Nixon said.
"The impact on our school community is devastating. We insist our kids' learning and wellbeing comes first."
“We have been given very little information on the direct impact this project will have on our school and its surrounds,” said Ms Hosie.
“Our school is located on Waratah Street. It is a beautiful quiet local street filled with local families. It has been ear-marked to have a truck turning circle at one end near Reg Coady Reserve during the construction of Westconnex,” Ms Hosie said.
“We don’t know if families will be able to access our school safely by foot from the areas surrounding Timbrell Park. We don’t know if our school will continue to have access to Timbrell Park and the surrounding sporting fields.”
“Like many parents I am concerned that our heritage suburb will be destroyed for very little gain and no long term plan,” said Ms Hosie.
Local streets around Dobroyd Public School are set to become a rat-run, as traffic will be permitted to turn right onto Waratah Street once leaving the tunnel heading north.
Additionally, Reg Coady Reserve will be used as a turning bay for heavy vehicles, cutting off a popular walking route for students trying to get to the school.
The streets around Haberfield Public School will see three years of noise and heavy truck movements during construction, only to end up with polluting exhaust stacks less than 500m away.
And many local families are facing the stress of compulsory acquisition and likely relocation to other suburbs, with RMS routinely offering lower valuations for properties.
“The Government has not thought through the impacts of Westconnex on local schools. The community is waiting with baited breath after making submissions to the Environmental Impact Statement. We’re all eager to know whether the Government is listening,” said Ms Haylen.