This Monday at Town Hall, hundreds of Sydneysiders gathered to hear from experts and express their concern about the State Government's WestConnex project.
Among the speakers was Terry Rawnsley, Principal & Partner at SGS Economics & Planning. I commissioned SGS to review the WestConnex project given the fact that the State Government has not provided details on traffic modelling and is shockingly negotiating contracts before finishing environmental assessment.
The SGS report shows WestConnex will not only have serious impacts on the City of Sydney, it will not meet Western Sydney's needs.
You can watch video from the night, including the SGS presentation, here: http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/council/news-and-updates/featured-articles/westconnex-wont-benefit-sydney
At the conclusion of the public meeting, those gathered passed resolutions calling on the State Government to:
- Immediately halt the development process of WestConnex, including compulsory acquisition of homes, given its massive projected costs, inability to achieve its stated purposes and its damaging impacts on densely populated inner city communities;
- Release all documents concerning the rationale and need for WestConnex, particularly the full business case and cost-benefit analysis;
- Prioritise Sydney Metropolitan transport planning with a mix of roads and heavy and light rail projects that includes strong links between Western Sydney regional cities and takes into account a future Badgerys Creek Airport; and
- Commit to the completion of a full social, environmental and economic impact report with public input before commencing tendering and contracting on future road and transport projects.
WestConnex is, unbelievably, a major road building program at a time of accelerating climate change, when world cities with increasing population densities like Sydney are making public transport their priority.
It heralds a return to the inner city expressway threats of the 1960s and 70s, and will achieve none of its state aims. It won't improve transport for people travelling from the west to the CBD; it won't connect freight from Sydney Airport and Port Botany with the west, it won't renew Parramatta Road and it certainly won't relieve congestion.
For the price of WestConnex, strategic heavy and light rail projects could significantly reduce road congestion by meeting increasing demand for public transport. Such investment in public transport projects in the west would dramatically reduce road traffic and create a more liveable, sustainable, Sydney for us all, today and into the future.
You can read my full speech here: http://clovermoore.com.au/westconnex-town-hall-meeting