Duncan Gay insults residents; Community and Local Councils stand together

Media Release: 20 May 2015

The Greens NSW spokesperson for WestConnex and Member for Newtown Jenny Leong MP has expressed disgust at Minister for Roads Duncan Gay for his insulting comments directed at concerned residents opposed to WestConnex and congratulated Marrickville Council on their latest move to oppose the project

Minister Gaye’s comments in the SMH.

 “The school yard style insults reportedly made at a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia lunch by the Minister for Roads shows the complete disregard he has for genuine community concerns about the misuse of public money on polluting tollways,” Jenny said.

“It seems the Minister is attempting to distract attention from the growing opposition to WestConnex and the failure of the project to meet the Government’s own requirements in terms of financial accountability, independence and transparency. 

“If the Minister for Roads really wants to try to defend WestConnex - instead of resorting to base insults of those worried about the impact of WestConnex - why doesn't he release the business case?

“If the Minister for Roads really wants to try to justify WestConnex - instead of making light of the effect more roads will have on our air quality - where is the rigorous assessment of the environmental impacts?”

“Duncan Gay is missing the point. This isn’t about how people take their coffee or what wine they like to drink – this is about plans to waste billions of dollars on a tollway that will lead to increased pollution, lead to the loss of homes and communities and fail to meet Sydney’s transport needs.

“The Greens are committed to seeing public money invested in world-class transport solutions – to make it easier and more accessible for people to get around our city - we need real transport solutions, not another dirty tollway,” she said.

The Minister’s comments stand in stark contrast to the motion passed by Marrickville Council last night introduced by former Liberal Councillor, now independent Mayor of Marrickville Mark Gardiner.

The motion opposed WestConnex,called for a halt to the tender process and a full parliamentary inquiry as well as establishing a council committee and allocating financial support.

“I congratulate Marrickville Council on listening to residents and local businesses by giving both principled and financial support to the community movement to stop WestConnex,” Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong said.

“The council’s motion is the latest in a growing number of groups, organisations and agencies putting their serious concerns about the viability of WestConnex on the public record. The evidence and opposition to WestConnex is mounting up.

“People are losing their homes, public money is at stake and the state government refuses to listen to what the community really needs – investment in world class public transport,” she said.

For further comment contact Mark Riboldi for Jenny Leong – 0433 753 376

The minutes from the Marrickville Council will be available here: http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/en/council/elected-council/business-papers/

The Mayoral Minute passed read:

That Council:

  1. Establish a Special Committee to be known as the WestConnex Advisory Committee in accordance with the draft Terms of Reference attached to this Mayoral Minute; 
  2. Allocated $40,000 towards the engagement of specialist consultants to evaluate key aspects of the WestConnex proposal as determined by the Advisory Committee; 
  3. Council oppose the WestConnex project based on the key conclusions in the independent report “WestConnex Transport Modelling Summary Report” by SGS Economics and Planning; and 
  4. Council calls for the tender process (including home, business acquisitions) be halted for the New M5 and M4 East until there is a full parliamentary inquiry into WestConnex and the full business case is released.

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