Marrickville Council locks out WestConnex

Greens WestConnex spokesperson and Member for Newtown Jenny Leong MP congratulated Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore and Marrickville Councillors who, last night, voted to support resolutions against WestConnex. The resolutions included revoking permission that had been previously granted by Council officers for WestConnex preparatory drilling at Tempe Reserve and affirmed the right of residents to peacefully protest.

Standing by the Council’s public rejection of WestConnex, the Councillors demanded that all decisions concerning WestConnex come to the elected Councillors for determination. They certified that residents have the right to peacefully protest at Tempe Reserve and other sites owned or managed by Council.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore, who moved the successful motions at last night’s Council meeting, said:

“Marrickville Councillors have been strong in our support for the community campaign against WestConnex. We oppose this dirty, expensive tollway and the damage it will cause to local communities across the inner west and Sydney.

“This week’s drilling in Tempe Reserve came as a complete surprise and shock to residents, who moved quickly to shut it through direct action. 

“While WestConnex and its subcontractors do not need Council planning permission to undertake test drilling - they do need our permission to access Council managed lands, such as Tempe Reserve. 

“Our decision last night makes it clear that Council does not provide that permission. Any permission granted by the staff in error has been immediately revoked.

“Our decision on Council last night also makes it clear that we support the right of residents to peacefully protest on Council lands. It is completely outrageous that the WestConnex subcontractors called in the police to threaten our local residents with arrest, for peacefully protesting on Council managed, public lands such as Tempe Reserve.

Greens WestConnex spokesperson and Member for Newtown Jenny Leong MP attended the direct action in support of the local residents earlier this week. She said:

“I congratulate Councillor Ellsmore and the Marrickville Councillors for demanding that all decisions concerning WestConnex come to them for determination rather than be dealt with by delegation, as occurred just this week at Tempe Reserve.

“This resolution affirmed the right we have to peacefully protest against WestConnex – which is now a necessary part of the community action to stop this polluting tollway disaster from destroying our neighbourhoods, local parks and bushland.

“This is why local council representation is so crucial to protecting our communities. When the NSW State Government seeks to arrogantly ignore their own planning processes – it is the local councils that can step in and say ‘enough is enough’.

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