NSW Greens Transport Spokeswoman Cate Faehrmann has branded the troubled Westconnex toll road a textbook example of Government mismanagement, poor planning and skewed priorities following the first day of public hearings at the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the impacts of the Westconnex project.
“Today we heard compelling evidence from experts and community members which highlighted that Westconnex is a textbook example of Government mismanagement, poor planning and skewed priorities,” Greens MP Cate Faehrmann said.
“The lack of transparency and due diligence on this project is obscene and the community can have no faith in the Berejiklian government’s ever changing predictions for the final cost of the Westconnex white elephant.
“Sadly we will almost certainly see further massive cost blow outs on this rushed and poorly planned infrastructure project managed by the NSW Government.
“The business case for the road is clearly deficient with constant changes, a failure to investigate public transport alternatives and to properly assess the impacts on communities.
“The committee heard alarming evidence from health experts about the risks the Westconnex smokestacks pose to air quality and the serious health impacts of this, especially on children at nearby schools.
“The billions of dollars ploughed into Westconnex would have been much better spent on improved public transport to connect Sydney and take cars off our congested roads,” Ms Faehrmann said.
Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown and NSW Greens spokesperson on WestConnex said:
“With the questions which have been asked already, it’s clear how important and overdue this WestConnex inquiry is.
“The Greens have been calling for increased transparency around WestConnex 2013 when the project was first announced but with no detail.
“Back in 2016 we held a Peoples WestConnex Inquiry because we knew there was so much to expose. After the first day of hearings it’s clear this project is a planning and environmental disaster with no social license.
The committee will resume public hearings on Thursday 11 October, with the NSW Auditor General Margaret Crawford, the NSW Department of Planning and the CEO of Infrastructure NSW Jim Betts all set to appear.