WestConnex hell at what cost?

NSW Greens spokesperson on WestConnex and Member for Newtown Jenny Leong MP has responded to the release of the concept design for the WestConnex M4-M5 Link, calling on the NSW Premier to halt all works until she can justify the monolithic expansion of the WestConnex project.

“This isn’t normal ‘project evolution’, this is a leap from ape to man. We’ve seen WestConnex expand from a $10 billion, 33km tollroad to $45 billion maze of motorways that will strangle Sydney.

It’s unacceptable to have this level of expansion without the release of an updated business case or a revised cost benefit analysis. The Greens are calling on the Premier to halt all works until this detail is provided.

“Why has the Government been releasing details of WestConnex bit by bit? Is it because they knew that if they put it all on the table at the outset, the community would have been outraged and there’s no way the cost benefits would have added up.

“No amount of glossy design on the plans released today can hide the hell that this 8-lane tunnel will inflict on local communities during the four years of construction. We’re talking 24/7 tunneling and surface works 6 days a week, with 5-6 trucks per hour travelling through densely populated residential areas.

“The one month toll amnesty seems to be an admission by the Government that WestConnex isn’t such an attractive proposition for the people of Western Sydney. No one is going to be fooled by these cynical stunts.

“You only have to look at how the residents from Haberfield and St Peters have been treated so far to know that any attempt to reassure people living in the path of the tunnel that the impacts will be minimised would be laughable if it wasn’t so devastating.

“Despite the Government’s best efforts to sell WestConnex as a done deal, it should be remembered that this is a 6 year project that hasn’t even had planning approval yet. At the rate we go through Premiers in NSW, that’s about 4 to 5 Premiers before we see this motorway completed.

“I give my commitment to the residents of Newtown, St Peters, Annandale, Camperdown, Leichhardt, Lilyfield, Haberfield, Ashfield and Rozelle that The Greens will work with them.

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