Jo Haylen, Member for Summer Hill, today slammed the Government’s decision to grant planning approval for the M4 East Westconnex project, ignoring strong and clear community opposition.
“Following the EIS consultation, the Baird Government should be shelving Westconnex, not giving it planning approval,” said Ms Haylen.
“I’m disappointed the Government has decided to move ahead with their plan to rip a hole through the Inner West, offering small concessions but more or less sticking with their destructive plan,” Ms Haylen said.
“Despite the consultation emphatically saying the community doesn’t want this road, it’s business as usual for the Government,” said Ms Haylen.
The community achieved some wins, with the Government acknowledging the concerns of parents and P&C members from Haberfield and the Infants’ Home and forming an Air Quality Community Consultative Committee (AQCCC).
Small concessions were made to protect Haberfield’s heritage, with three homes saved from demolition on Walker Ave.
Responding to the strong objections of Ashfield Council, RMS must prepare a land management plan in consultation with Council and Urban Growth to discuss the future use of residual land.
“The Government has offered small concessions that will go some of the way to making locals’ lives bearable, but the only way to really fix the problems with Westconnex is to get rid of it altogether,” said Ms Haylen.
“If they won’t see sense, I call on the Government to continue working with residents to deliver fairness - including the WestConnex Urban Design Framework to improve noise abatement,” said Ms Haylen.
Ms Haylen has been a fierce critic of Westconnex, repeatedly calling on the Government to abandon the project.
"Nothing has changed – Westconnex still doesn’t add up. The cost has blown out to $17 billion. It rips a whole through the heritage suburb of Haberfield and will pump congestion and traffic into the Inner West, all for a six minute saving in travel time,” said Ms Haylen.
“Westconnex should be put back on the shelf alongside all the other bad planning ideas from the Baird Government.”