The Greens Member for Newtown Jenny Leong MP has expressed serious concern that the 12,866 submissions against the WestConnex New M5 EIS have effectively been hidden on the Department of Planning’s website.
“This is just the latest example of the NSW government just going through the motions when it comes to WestConnex oversight and planning. Pretending there is a real consultation and genuine dialogue and engagement with the community and civil society on this $16.8 billion polluting private tollroad is unacceptable.
“The planning assessment process has been farcical – and raises serious concerns about the pressure being put on the Department of Planning to fulfill the Roads Minister’s arrogant and misguided road agenda.
“This is an unprecedented number of objections with thousands of local community members and campaign groups taking the time to make submissions. However, they have been treated with contempt by the NSW government and the Department of Planning as their individual submissions have been literally shoved into over 180 inaccessible PDF files,” she said.
"The Greens NSW submission has not been identified on the Department of Planning’s site and neither have any of the other 180 non-government organisations who we understand have made submissions.
“I have previously raised concerns with Planning Minister Stokes about the lack of transparency and accessibility of WestConnex submissions, expressing serious concern about the unacceptable way they have been displayed. We explicitly asked the Planning Minister to rectify this situation with submissions regarding the New M5 EIS, but this has not occurred.
“We know WestConnex won’t work. So do over 20,000 individuals and organisations who’ve so far made submissions objecting to this project. It’s time the NSW Government stopped trying to cover up the overwhelming evidence against this project and that should start with the Planning Minister properly dealing with the legitimate objections to WestConnex, she said.