Approval for "Indicative" Stage 3 Westconnex EIS: Question to the Premier

Our question to the Premier asking how approval can be granted to Stage 3 of Westconnex based only upon an "indicative" Environmental Impact Statement. 


Ms JENNY LEONG ( Newtown ) ( 15:00 :21 ): My question is directed to the Premier. Given that the environmental impact statement [EIS] for the M4-M5 Link of WestConnex states that "the detail of the design and construction approach presented in this EIS is indicative only," and that the word "indicative" is mentioned hundreds of times throughout the 13-volume document, how can the community have any trust in her Government's and this State's planning process when approval for a billion-dollar project can be sought and granted based on indicative concept designs only?

Mr Michael Daley: That is cherrypicking.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Maroubra will remain silent. He did not ask the question.

Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN ( Willoughby—Premier) (15:01:02): I thank the member for Newtown for her question. I think she will be extremely pleased with my response. I want to acknowledge the great work done by the Minister for WestConnex and the Minister for Roads and the whole team for making this project come to life.

The SPEAKER: Order! Members will come to order. The member for Londonderry will come to order.

Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: I can hear the interjections from the other side of the Chamber. This is another project that the Opposition does not support. The members on the other side of the Chamber do not support the Sydney Metro and they do not support the WestConnex, but I will come back to that. Given that the member for Newtown has asked a question in that tone, I will respond in an adequate way. The M4-M5 Link project team for WestConnex has been engaging in community consultation for more than 12 months. The environmental impact statement [EIS] is now formally out there for public consultation, and I encourage everybody to have a say. This is the time for members of the public to have their say on the M4-M5 Link.

Ms Jodi McKay: It does not matter what people say.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Strathfield will come to order. I call the member for Strathfield to order for the first time.

Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: I will respond to the interjection by the ill-informed member for Strathfield who says that we never listen and we never take anything on board.

The SPEAKER: Order! Members will come to order. The member for Bankstown, the member for Canterbury and the member for Strathfield will cease interjecting or they will be called to order and may find themselves out of the Chamber.

Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: In the EIS process for the North West Rail Link the community said, "We need stations at Norwest Business Park." Guess what? The Government delivered that. During consultations on the CBD and South East Light Rail the community said, "We want the trees back." The Government said, "We will plant eight trees for every one we cut down."

Mr Michael Daley: Point of order: My point of order is under Standing Order 129. How come there is a gaping hole in the fig trees along Anzac Parade?

The SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order. The member for Maroubra will resume his seat. I call the member for Maroubra to order for the second time. He is being a little too clever for his own good.

Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: There is a long list of examples I could use to demonstrate that the Government listens during an EIS process. I can hear the member for Strathfield laughing. I look forward to reading her submission to this EIS. I look forward to seeing what she will put in. We have done this M4-M5 Link EIS process slightly differently because we listened to feedback from stages one and two.

Mr Michael Daley: They were a debacle.

The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Maroubra to order for the third time.

Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: There was a concurrence in the planning approval prior to the contractor doing the selection and final design, so the Government took on the feedback from stages one and two when the community said, "We want a say before it goes to the final design process." The Government is listening to what the community says. In stages one and two the community said, "You moved too quickly. Slow down, give us a say first." Then we will give out the contract for the final design process. Anybody who cares about greater community consultation and better listening will know that this is the way to do it.

As I have said on numerous occasions, this Government takes the lessons from one project and applies them to another, whether it is in respect of stages or new projects. I say to the member for Newtown that we have provided this indicative proposal because we want to make sure that we get all the feedback and that when the project is contracted out the feedback is taken into consideration. I am proud of the fact that we have taken this approach. I think it is the right approach to take. I appreciate that the member for Newtown represents an inner-west community and that she is advocating on its behalf. The Labor Party thinks that Western Sydney stops at Strathfield.

The SPEAK ER: Order! The member for Cessnock will come to order. The member for Fairfield will come to order.

Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: Labor Party members do not care about all the benefits this project has for Penrith, Parramatta and greater Western Sydney.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Londonderry will lower the volume of her comments.

Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: I can understand the member for Newtown caring about the inner west because as a Greens member that is the constituency she represents.

Mr Greg Warren: Point of order—

Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: The member for Campbelltown interjects because he does not care. His party does not care about greater Western Sydney.

The SPEAKER: Order! Has the Premier concluded her answer?


The SPEAKER: Order! The Premier is being relevant to the question. Does the member for Campbelltown have a different point of order?

Mr Greg Warren: If the Premier cared so much, she might extend the time for the M5 for another four years.

The SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order.

Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: I hope the member for Newtown might consider giving me extra time.

The SPEAKER: Order! I direct the Clerk to stop the clock until members come to order.

Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN: One day the Opposition members support the WestConnex and the next day they do not. Today, apparently, they do not support it. The Opposition members do not support WestConnex and do not support public transport, extra housing or extra light rail. They stand for nothing.

The SPEAKER: Order! The refined behaviour of some members in the Chamber is most impressive. I refer to the member for Swansea.


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