Newtown MP Jenny Leong joined community residents and activists at Tempe Reserve this morning who had stopped preparatory drilling by WestConnex.
Ms Leong said, “If the Baird government is going to arrogantly ignore the planning process - signing billions in contracts and commencing exploratory drilling before approval has even been granted - then the community has no choice but to engage in nonviolent direct action to stop them.Read more
Community groups and local residents fighting to stop WestConnex contributed a remarkable 9000 submissions to the Department of Planning by last Friday’s deadline. These were in response to the latest Environmental Impact Statement for the the New M5, the section of toll road between Kingsgrove and St. Peters.
NSW Greens spokesperson for WestConnex Jenny Leong said, "The fact that this remarkable number of submissions were made during the summer holiday period, shows the community’s level of concern and anger at having this expensive, 50’s style mega road forced on them without being offered cleaner, more sustainable options for solving Sydney’s transport congestion problems.Read more
This is an excerpt of an opinion piece written by NSW Greens spokesperson on WestConnex Jenny Leong, published in New Matilda on 30 Jan, 2016
Corruption, dodgy deals and vested interests have unfortunately been synonymous with NSW politics for a long time. After 16 years of ALP rule, which saw government ministers delivering sweet deals for big business, developers, coal mining companies and their mates, the NSW public made it clear that enough was enough.
The Coalition was elected on a landslide in 2011, only to be exposed for having some rather dirty laundry of their own.
But when Mike Baird stepped up to lead the state nearly two years ago, there was at least a sense that those dark days were behind us and that things would change. Surely, we would see an end to in-house corruption, improvements to governance, and increases in transparency and improvements to independent oversight – all cornerstones of a functioning democracy.Read more
NSW Greens spokesperson for WestConnex and Member for Newtown, Jenny Leong MP has condemned the Sydney Motorway Corporation’s latest land grab of an extra 6,000 square metres from Sydney Park and surrounding areas.
"It’s been abundantly clear since the St Peter’s interchange was announced that WestConnex will have a devastating impact on Sydney Park, but this latest land grab will mean that approximately 3 ½ acres of public green space will be taken from this area.Read more
The NSW Government has known for three years that the process for valuing homes forcibly acquired for major infrastructure projects - including WestConnex - is unfair to home owners.
As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald (p1) this morning a parliamentary committee chaired by Liberal MP Matt Kean found the compulsory acquisition system is "unfair and inadequate". Yet the Government has forged ahead, acquiring a number of homes along the WestConnex route, with many more targeted for acquisition in the coming months.
MP for Newtown and NSW Greens WestConnex spokesperson Jenny Leong has called for a moratorium on all home acquisitions until a fair process has been determined and an independent inquiry of WestConnex has been undertaken.
“This is yet another reason why the construction of WestConnex needs to be halted until a full inquiry is undertaken. With the whole WestConnex project looking shakier by the day, people should not be forced out of their communities for what is looking more and more likely to be a failed project.Read more
Under the new ‘Clean Air Agreement’ NSW has opted for air pollution standards below World Health Organisation guidelines.
State ministers were divided on appropriate levels of the dangerous PM10 particles. According to reports, the decision to allow a threshold over WHO recommendations was driven by NSW Environment Minister Mark Speakman. Stricter standards have been self-imposed by Victoria and the ACT.
The decisions have implications for WestConnex and the levels of emissions released by traffic along its route.
Member for Newtown and Greens spokesperson for WestConnex Jenny Leong MP said: “We don’t have to look far to see why the NSW Government is so opposed to meeting the recommended levels for PM10 pollution given that the polluting WestConnex tollway, one of the state’s most significant infrastructure projects, won’t meet those standards.Read more
In the wake of the release of the updated WestConnex Business Case and the New M5 EIS the Greens have criticised the federal government for ruling out a review of the project that has now shown a multi-billion dollar blowout in total costs.
Newtown Greens MP Jenny Leong said “With the cost of the WestConnex blowing out from the initial $10 billion to $16.8 billion, this project should be urgently reviewed.
“Neither the WestConnex Business Case or the new M5 EIS adequately address the fundamental issue of public transport solutions but instead offer spurious benefit cost figures based on questionable financial benefits to the NSW economy.
“This is just Utopia-style spin and unfortunately the outcome for locals will be more congestion and polluted air.Read more
Written by Chris Standen for the Sydney Morning Herald.
"The approach used in Australia for assessing the "economic benefits" of urban transport projects was devised by highway agencies in the 1960s to justify the massive cost of urban motorways. This has given us the urban sprawl, car-dependence and high transport costs with which we are encumbered today.Read more
The release of the WestConnex New M5 EIS today brings no holiday cheer to residents of Sydney’s inner west and inner south west suburbs.
The NSW Government has released the New M5 Environmental Impact Statement just before everyone breaks for the year but it’s no gift to the residents, councils or organisations that will be forced to digest this massive document – made up of 149 individual multi-page attachments - during the holiday period. Submissions are due at the end of January, just as many families will be returning from summer holidays.
NSW Greens spokesperson on WestConnex and Member for Newtown Jenny Leong is calling on Premier Baird, The Roads Minister and the Planning Minister to immediately review this decision.Read more
Electorate Update #6: WestConnex in Parliament, Eveleigh Community Meeting, Save Marrickville Council
Government caves to Community Pressure and releases WestConnex Business Case
Yesterday around one hundred residents directly affected by WestConnex joined me in Parliament, as we debated the 'Stop WestConnex' petition. More than 10,000 people from across Sydney and NSW signed the 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.
Today the much-delayed updated business case was finally released - thanks to the strong pressure from the community campaign.Read more