The #SaveSydneyPark community camp has successfully put a halt to unauthorised tree felling by WestConnex in Sydney Park, as work on the Euston Road works site was stopped today.
NSW Greens spokesperson on WestConnex and Member for Newtown Jenny Leong MP has congratulated the efforts of the thousands of people who were a part of this nonviolent direct action to protect the award-winning and much-loved park.
"Were it not for the clear display of strength Baird’s private contractors would have gotten away with destroying many large trees and bulldozing an area of land that is owned by the City of Sydney council and over which they had no approval," she said.Read more
By Jordan Fermanis
On Saturday October 1, protestors and partygoers descended upon Sydney Park in what was billed as a ‘protestival’. The protestival was organised by the WestCONnex Action Group and Reclaim the Streets.
The protestival came together with only a weeks notice. It commenced at 1pm, where music acts kept crowds entertained until 6pm.
The event was held not far from where WestConnex protestors have set up a tent blockade which has been running for almost three weeks.Read more
Published in the South Sydney Herald, October 2016
This stand of trees on Euston Road next to Sydney Park has been earmarked for destruction to make way for WestConnex. Eventually the Baird government will take 14,000 square metres of the park and 350 trees including all those along the park side of Euston Road and Campbell Road as well as those along Sydney Park Road.
Community members and local anti-Westconnex campaigners were joined by Lord Mayor Clover Moore and Greens MP for Newtown, Jenny Leong, on Monday morning Sept 19 and stopped the first bulldozer destroying parts of Sydney Park. A protest campsite was established which was later raided at 3am by the Redfern police and WestConnex who pulled out the protestors who had been previously assured that they would not be moved during the night.
However, the camp remains and is growing as more people join the campaign to Stop WestConnex bulldozers here. Join them and sign up at the protest camp on Euston Road, Alexandria (adjacent to Sydney Park) or Call our office on (02) 9517 2800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.Read more
The Greens say recent revelations from a whistleblower regarding asbestos contamination in WestConnex road fill add to the alarming list of asbestos concerns about this project which have been made to the NSW Premier Mike Baird and Roads Minister Duncan Gay.
“The number of serious concerns raised over the past 12 months regarding asbestos handling and safety precautions on the WestConnex project should have raised red flags for Duncan Gay,” said the Australian Greens spokesperson for transport and infrastructure Senator Janet Rice.
“However, Minister Gay has continuously disparaged or rebuffed claims from residents and from Jenny Leong, NSW Greens spokesperson on WestConnex, that WestConnex has been acting outside proper health and safety protocols.Read more
Given the recent revelations concerning the Government's responses to the Russell Review of the compulsory acquisition process, it now is clear that the Premier failed to act on two key reports which were highly critical of the government’s compulsory acquisition process and functioning of the Valuer General's office.
The first dates back to May 2013 when the Report of the Joint Standing Committee on the Office of the Valuer General, chaired by Liberal MP Matt Kean was released. This committee made 29 recommendations which included a number criticizing the fairness and openness of the land acquisition process and the functions of the Valuer General’s office, but the government did nothing to make the process fairer.
Mike Baird was Treasurer at this time when the Liberals embarked on hundreds of acquisitions for infrastructure projects including Westconnex, NorthConnex, Sydney Metro and the Sydney light rail, knowing the process regarding property valuations by the Valuer General was not transparent and was unfair in a number of ways.
Then in February 2014, the government received the Review from David Russell, SC, which was commissioned in 2012 and included guiding principles on how compulsory acquisitions should be dealt with by government.
Premier Baird admitted today in Question Time that the WestConnex acquisition process has not been ‘anywhere near as good as it should have been’.
The Premier highlighted that he has appointed Michael Pratt, the Customer Service Commissioner in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, to oversee a new process that will ensure that those affected by the Stage 3 acquisitions will get a more generous and caring ‘world’s best practice’ process.Read more
After ongoing calls for an audit of WestConnnex by the public and The Greens, The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the federal funding and concessional loan to WestConnex.
The submission by Senators Janet Rice, Lee Rhiannon and Jenny Leong MP is here.
The objective of this audit is to assess whether appropriate steps were taken to protect the Commonwealth's interests and obtain value for money in respect to the $3.5 billion in Commonwealth funding committed to the NSW Government for the WestConnex project.
The Greens believe that the decision to commit public funds to the WestConnex project was premature and motivated by political gain and that the federal government's allocation of public funds to WestConnex was made without any real impartial or independent assessment according to the proper processes and good governance protocols that were in place.Read more
The government-appointed Administrator of the Inner West Council, Richard Pearson, admitted at last night’s council meeting that his approaches to the Sydney Motorway Corporation have been met with complete intransigence, with the SMC effectively stonewalling Council.
“The SMC has shown clearly that they are not prepared to negotiate in any way on even the most basic issues of resident’s safety. The Administrator stated publicly last night that he was extremely disappointed with their responses, and that in fact so far he’s got ‘nought out of ten’ on Council requests. This is appalling but not surprising,” said Greens MP for Balmain, Jamie Parker.
“Baird’s own hand-picked Administrator is being bulldozed - just like the residents of the Inner West - by this private company, set up by the Liberal Coalition government to ram through the tollroad at any cost and to operate outside the normal planning requirements of local and State government.”
“The SMC has brazenly refused to apply to the RMS regarding Council’s proposal for a School Zone along Campbell Street in St Peters, because it is concerned that this may slow traffic along the street. This shows a shocking disregard for our children’s safety.”Read more
Today’s confirmation of an additional one kilometre of tunnel under Victoria Road, Rozelle shows how planning for WestConnex is a shambles, says Greens Member for Balmain, Jamie Parker.
“This add on tunnel announcement is nothing more than a half-baked response to the traffic chaos that will occur around the ANZAC bridge,” he said.
“The Sydney Motorway Corporation and the RMS know from the traffic modelling that they commissioned for the M4 East, that that the impact on Victoria Road and the ANZAC Bridge would be gridlock with or without the proposed Rozelle Interchange.Read more