M4 East Tunnel contracts put community at risk

MEDIA RELEASE: The NSW Government announcement of contracts worth $2.7 billion, and a preferred design for the M4 East tunnel ahead of planning approval or an Environmental Impact Statement process, puts the community at risk, according to Greens WestConnex spokesperson and MP for Newtown Jenny Leong.

"By signing contracts for the M4 East tunnel construction without an Environmental Impact Statement or planning approval, the NSW government is showing a blatant disregard for the health and safety of our communities,” she said.

"What happens if the EIS discovers that there will be dangerous levels of pollution and carcinogenic diesel fuels delivered right into residential areas in Concord, Homebush or Haberfield?

“One of the proposed exits on Parramatta Rd is only 500m away from Haberfield Primary School. These students, their families and teachers, now face potentially dangerous levels of pollution and increased danger from traffic.

“The company with the EIS contract for the M4 East tunnel also has commercial interests in WestConnex. This makes a mockery of the government’s supposed commitment to an independent and thorough process.

“The same company, AECOM, is currently being sued for $150 million in Brisbane for allegedly supplying inaccurate traffic forecasts for a major toll road. It is alleged that AECOM made forecasts without reasonable grounds and excluded critical information from its report.

“When the contracts were cancelled for the EastWest link in Melbourne, the state paid $339 million in compensation to contractors; how much have Mike Baird and Duncan Gay agreed to pay Leighton, Samsung C&T and John Holland when it’s discovered that putting six lanes of traffic under a highly dense residential area is unworkable?

“The ‘New State of Business’ for NSW might mean new opportunities for business under a Liberal government, but it’s the same dodgy decisions and processes that have been failing community interest for years,” she said.

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