During Question Time on Thursday 6 August 2015, the Greens MP for Newtown and Spokesperson for WestConnex Jenny Leong called on Minister for Planning Rob Stokes to extend the WestConnex Environmental Impact Statement exhibition periods to no less than 60 days.
She asked a Question without Notice to the Minister for Planning. It read:
Given the size and scale of the WestConnex project, as well as the high level of public interest, will the Minister give a commitment to the community that the exhibition period for all future Environmental Impact Statements related to WestConnex will be no less than 60 days?
Minister for Planning Rob Stokes replied that no decision had been made in regards to the length of the exhibition periods and that an assessment would be made when he is presented with the EIS documents. He also stated that given the complexity of the issues, an extension is “worthy of consideration.”
Jenny Leong also said that:
“At the very minimum, the community needs no less than 60 days to review the documents. Ideally, the community would have even more time to examine what are sure to be extensive and complex documents,” she said.
“Existing reports into noise, air quality and traffic have been considered ‘commercial-in-confidence’, this is the first time the public will be able to see this information.”
“So far, the Government has refused to release the business case for WestConnex, and has signed construction contracts for works that don’t have planning approval.”
“If Mike Baird and Rob Stokes are serious about transparency and accountability, they will increase the exhibition periods.”