At the last Inner West Council meeting of 2016, the Administrator Richard Pearson committed to spending half a million dollars toward modelling the impact of WestConnex on local streets and neighbourhoods.
“This is a welcome initiative and shows that local government shares the community’s concerns about how badly WestConnex will impact our neighbourhoods, said Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown and NSW Greens spokesperson on WestConnex.
“The RMS only plan to look at the impact of WestConnex 12 months after each stage has been opened - well after the traffic chaos and air quality impacts have occurred. Premier Baird’s appointed Administrator has called this wait-and-see approach, ‘totally unacceptable and inconsistent with the principles of modern environmental impact assessments’ and he should know, as he has come directly from the NSW Planning Dept.
“Like our community, Mr Pearson understands that these impacts must be predicted now and remediation measures must be put in place to mitigate the negative impacts before they occur.
“This traffic modelling has been on the books (as a result of a Greens motion), since before the former Marrickville council was amalgamated and now this Administrator’s Minute means the work will cover more areas examining how the M4 East, the M5-M5 Link as well as the New M5 will impact on our local neighbourhoods.
“The Inner West Council has repeatedly requested existing traffic modelling data from RMS which was done for Stages 1 and 2 of WestConnex but RMS has withheld this data without explanation.
“We have to ask what RMS is hiding by refusing to release the traffic modelling they already have about the impact of WestConnex on our local streets and neighbourhoods.
“At least now we have a chance of getting a realistic idea of the devastating impact that WestConnex will have and a process in tow to mitigate some of this before the worst happens.