Screen shot of the video summary showing one view of the area in Tempe that would be affected by the motorway.  The violet line shows the route of the motorway

Called ‘WestConnex’ & starting at Parramatta, the M4 will be widened probably removing many of the trees planted for the 2000 Olympics. It then travels up a widened Parramatta Road with an under street level slot for the motorway with Parramatta Road still able to function. A small inset in the video link below shows a boulevard-look with lots of street trees beside high-rise residential development.  This will be a huge change for the suburbs along Parramatta Road.

The WestConnex Motorway travels up to Taverners Hill in Petersham & then underground with a 5km tunnel from Taverners Hill to St Peters, “returning local roads to the Inner West community.”  No stacks were mentioned, but they come with tunnels as far as I am aware.  The tunnel runs under the Princes Highway side of Sydney Park coming to the surface in the grounds of what I think is ‘Dial a Dump’ where coal seam gas mining was to happen & may still happen yet.

The motorway then travels beside the Alexandra Canal & through the container terminal at Tempe.  It then travels above/beside the Tempe Wetlands & within spitting distance of the houses below at East Tempe. From there the road travels through all the trees planted beside Tempe Reserve & along the eastern side of Tempe Reserve through the playground & picnic facilities & over the Cooks River to travel through the Kogarah Golf Course, finally meeting with the M5 that will also be widened.  The point at Tempe Reserve is the only point along the Cooks River until the river enters Botany Bay.

There appears to be an alternate route shown very briefly at 2.31secs on the video. This follows the Alexandra Canal avoiding the Tempe Wetlands, though it still travels through Tempe Reserve.

The video says that the project is the ‘highest priority’ for the NSW government with the route of the WestConnex still at concept stage.  The TV news tonight says it will probably be funded by multiple tolls.

Way back in 2007 there was a US study published in the Medical Journal The Lancet, “linking motorway pollution with permanent and life-limiting damage to children’s lungs. People who live within 500 metres of a motorway grow up with significantly reduced lung capacity, & even children who have never experienced asthma are at risk.”  –  

I wrote about a 2010 study done by the US Health Effects Institute who reviewed 700 worldwide health-pollution studies. They found that traffic pollution within a 500-metre radius of a major thoroughfare was likely to exacerbate asthma in children, trigger new asthma cases across all ages, impair lung function in adults & could cause cardiovascular illness & death.  See – 

Last July 2012, the NSW Department of Health said that an 80% increase in lung cancer cases in residents living near the Turrella stack was unlikely to have been caused by air pollution from the tunnel stack because it takes longer for lung cancer to develop.  NSW Health said they could not find a reason for the massive cancer spike in Turrella residents saying, “it could be purely chance because rates do go up & down & it’s a smallish area & the (cancer) rates are quite volatile in smallish areas.”  Short video here –

However, a 2009 article said that researchers from Macquarie University & Queensland University of Technology found that regular users of Sydney’s M5 East tunnel were risking chronic health problems because of high levels of air pollution in the tunnel, which were 1,000 times higher than in the city. –

So, if it is risky to your health to repeatedly drive in the tunnel, why isn’t the air pollution that comes out of the tunnel in a concentrated form risking the health of nearby residents?

Scientific research studies like the above make me wonder why governments continue to focus on building roads rather than putting the substantial money needed to build these into better public transport.  Many people think more Motorways are not the answer as they fill up & need to be bigger within a very short length of time.

Dreadful is what the Motorway will do to the wetlands, to the park above the wetlands, the considerable tree loss in Tempe & the ruination of Tempe Reserve & the Kogarah Golf Course & to the residents of Tempe & Marrickville.  Perhaps St Peters & Petersham residents will be affected too.  This Motorway may have a bigger impact than I can think of at this stage.

Marrickville LGA has the smallest amount of public green space in Australia, so if this Motorway goes ahead as planned, we will be losing more public green space in Tempe Reserve. This area of Tempe Reserve in particular is usually jam packed with people who use the great children’s playground, the barbeques & the picnic kiosks as well as the river for fishing.  Large groups of children use the basketball courts behind the Robyn Webster Sport Centre as well.  Tempe Reserve & the wetlands are a vital area for wildlife habitat in Marrickville LGA.  It is not the place for a major motorway if you care about the health & happiness of people & the environment.

Drivers will be ecstatic, so I expect that there will be anger at any community opposition to the Motorway.  However, I am pretty sure there will be significant community opposition in this municipality if the past is a realistic guide.

You can watch a video summary of WestConnex showing the proposed route at –

The NSW government is seeking community feedback.  You can email them at – or write at – Infrastructure NSW – 
PO Box R220 
Royal Exchange NSW 1225

Screenshot of the motorway route through Tempe Reserve

Screen shot showing the route through the point at Tempe Reserve, over the Cooks River & through Kogarah Golf Course.

This screenshot view shows how deep into Tempe Reserve the motorway goes.