On Thursday 22 April, the State Government approved the second stage of the $16.8 billion WestConnex road project.
The approval, for construction of twin nine-kilometre tunnels and a motorway interchange at St Peters in the inner west, came with a number of conditions – in response to written concerns from the community and Marrickville Council.
WestConnex Stage 2 proponent must prepare a range of ongoing management plans including:
As well, the lengthy list of conditions (75 pages) also includes:
The number of conditions implies significant concern from the Department of Planning and Environment that the project will impact heavily on local areas.
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment placed the New M5 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on exhibition until Friday 29 January 2016.
As a stakeholder, Council made the following submission:
WestConnex's response to submissions and Preferred Infrastructure Report is available here:
At the Infrastructure, Planning and Environmental Services Committee Meeting on Tuesday 5 April, Council voted to refuse a Road Operating Permit for the installation of underground electricity mains to service the WestConnex interchange site at St Peters.
Council voted to refuse on the grounds that there is no planning approval for WestConnex New M5 Stage 2, and because Council is opposed to the WestConnex project.
The proposed route of the new underground mains would have impacted the following streets in the Marrickville Council local government area: Unwins Bridge Road, Silver Street, Edith Lane, Edith Street, Roberts Street, Roberts Lane, Mary St and Princes Highway.
Council assume that this refusal will cause delay, although Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has powers to override Council – and Roads Minister Duncan Gay has already indicated he will take this course of action.
The Roads and Maritime Authority recently informed Council that it will exercise its powers under the Roads Act 1993 to continue geotechnical investigations on public roads within the Marrickville local government area. RMS has stated that nearby residences and businesses will be notified by letter box drop and via the WestConnex website at least 5 days before work commences. Marrickville Council remains opposed to the Westconnex project.
For more info of drilling and investigation works visit www.westconnex.com.au.
In February 2016, the NSW Department of Planning & Environment approved Stage 1 of WestConnex. The new M4 East will travel underground from Homebush to Haberfield, with major construction expected to commence mid-2016.
An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Stage 2 of WestConnex, a new M5 East between Beverly Hills and St Peters and the new St Peters Interchange, was on public exhibition until the end of January 2016 and is now being assessed by the Department of Planning & Environment.
A planning application for the third stage of WestConnex, an underground motorway link between the new M4 and new M5, was lodged with the Department for Planning & Environment in early February 2016. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is expected to be released later in 2016.
Marrickville Council is urging residents to provide feedback to the State Government about the WestConnex project. Go to: http://www.westconnex.com.au/have_your_say/index.html
At its meeting on Tuesday 16 October 2012, Council called on the State Government to undertake a detailed assessment of the noise, environmental, and social and economic impacts of the project and to fully consult with the Marrickville community about WestConnex.
As well, Council expressed its deep concern about the potential of the construction of surface roads, tunnels and associated ventilation stacks to impact on the health, welfare and amenity of residents.
Council also advocated for the formation of a WestConnex Taskforce.
On Tuesday 5 February 2013, Council voted unanimously to formally oppose the WestConnex motorway and widening of the M5 East and any other motorway proposal that will have negative impacts on the Wolli Creek Regional Park, the Tempe Wetlands and any other part of the Marrickville Local Government Area.
Councillors also directed the General Manager to write to the Minister for Roads and Ports and the Premier of NSW notifying them of Council’s opposition to WestConnex.
At the Tuesday 25 November 2014 Council meeting, Council resolved to write to the WestConnex Delivery Authority to strongly oppose the Campbell Street and Campbell Road widenings which are unnecessary and unacceptably environmentally destructive and will have a devastating effect on Marrickville local roads.
Council also voted to provide material support to the local residents campaign against WestConnex by funding the cost of the provision of temporary toilets and street clean up after the community protests planned for Simpson Park St Peters and surrounding streets on 13 December 2014.
At its 15 September 2015 meeting Council voted to seek urgent legal advice in relation to its power to immediately issue a stop work order on the Alexandria Landfill site (Albert Street, St Peters), which had been compulsorily acquired by the WestConnex Authority (WDA).
On Tuesday night (15 March), Marrickville Councillors voted to make the confidential legal advice public.
The advice does suggest that WestConnex has been operating for months without any legal approval, including in the handling of toxic waste and asbestos.
The legal advice can be read here: