Yesterday around one hundred residents directly affected by the $16.8 billion WestConnex tollway came to Parliament House for debate on a ‘Stop WestConnex’ petition – which demanded the release of the business case. Today the NSW Baird Government released that much delayed business case.
More than 10,000 residents from across Sydney and NSW signed the ‘Stop WestConnex’ petition, which called on Premier Mike Baird to halt work on WestConnex until the full business case has been released and a parliamentary inquiry has been conducted.
Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong, who sponsored the petition, led the debate, congratulating the community for their tireless campaign.
Ms Leong said: “The fact that the business case has finally been released today is the result of continued pressure from community members, local businesses and local councils who have come together to raise concerns about this polluting tollway.
“It’s no coincidence that the Government has chosen to release this the day after the 10,000 signature strong petition was debated in parliament and now that Parliament has finished for the year. They’re clearly feeling the pressure from the community and yet again trying to avoid scrutiny.
“Yesterday a number of the residents directly affected by WestConnex joined us in Parliament. These are people whose homes are under threat, whose children will be at schools near unfiltered exhaust stacks, who will lose their local parks and green spaces.
“It’s not just people who live in the inner city and inner west who have signed the ‘Stop WestConnex’ petition. More than 10,000 people from all over NSW have signed on, from Banora Point near Tweed to Coonamble in the state’s Central North to Gerringong on the South Coast. From Bankstown, Camden, Penrith, Fairfield and Seven Hills – many people supposedly benefitting from this tollway have signed on.
“The community concern around WestConnex is growing because it is clear that WestConnex will be devastating for the many suburbs it cuts through and won’t offer a solution to Sydney’s traffic problems.
“Initial reports on the newly released business case demonstrate why the Government has been so reluctant to release it. The cost has ballooned by another billion dollars, there’s still not a completed design for parts of the project, predicted usage is down while congestion on existing roads is forecast to be even worse, and the construction timeframe is set to blow out.
“It’s clear the project is a shambles and will be yet another failed motorway project and financial disaster.
Read Jenny's debate speech here or watch it below.