Lord Mayor Clover Moore will join forces with transport experts, health experts and community representatives at a public meeting to call on the NSW Government to rethink WestConnex to deliver a better deal for all Sydneysiders.
The discussion will explore why WestConnex won’t solve Sydney’s transport needs, why it will increase congestion and how its $50 billion budget could be better spent.
They will urge the government to prioritise public transport and road upgrades that provide important connections across Sydney without burdening commuters with expensive tolls and threatening the health of local communities. They will also call for a process with greater transparency and genuine community consultation.
The public meeting will take place at Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday 11 October 2017 – five days before the deadline for the community to make submissions on the Environmental Impact Statement for Stage 3 of WestConnex, the M4-M5 Link.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the NSW government’s current plans for WestConnex would have disastrous impacts on residents, workers and businesses from all areas of Sydney.
“WestConnex is the wrong project for Sydney. It will massively increase congestion, it won’t help people in Western Sydney get anywhere faster and it will cost thousands of dollars every year to use,” the Lord Mayor said.
“At a staggering $50 billion, WestConnex is Australia’s most expensive road project ever – yet it will only support two per cent of daily trips across Sydney, and be at capacity in just eight years.
“Not only is this network of private toll roads eating up the funds that should be available for public transport for a generation to come, but it is already having devastating impacts on our communities, destroying our environment, and damaging people’s health.
“Communities from all across Sydney are rightly up in arms about this project, but it is not a done deal – yet. Together, we need to make our voices heard and demand that the NSW Government hit pause and rethink WestConnex.”
Other speakers at the public meeting include:
- Peter Newman AO – Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University and former board member of Infrastructure Australia. Professor Newman will speak about what Sydney can learn from Melbourne and Perth, where poorly-planned toll road projects have been rejected in favour of better transport options
- Paul Torzillo AM – Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney and respiratory health specialist. Professor Torzillo will speak about the health impacts of the WestConnex road network on communities across Sydney
- Elizabeth Farrelly – columnist and author specialising in architecture and urban issues. Elizabeth will speak about the importance of ensuring major construction projects like WestConnex don’t destroy neighbourhoods and transform Sydney into a concrete jungle
- Pauline Lockie – recently elected councillor for the Inner West Council and head of the WestConnex Action Group. Pauline will speak about the impacts of WestConnex on local communities and the lack of community consultation that has accompanied the project
- Sunil Badami – representative of Rozelle Public School’s WestConnex action group. Sunil will speak about the risks WestConnex poses to the health and wellbeing of children and families
- Tony Murphy – resident behind the community campaign against the Victorian Government’s East West Link. Tony will speak about why his campaign was successful and how community groups in Sydney can learn from his experience.
Fix WestConnex – can Sydney do better?
Date: Wednesday 11 October 2017
Time: 7pm to 8.15pm
Where: Lower Town Hall, Sydney Town Hall – 483 George Street, Sydney
Source: City of Sydney