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This has turned into a very long post.  I have decided to post as is because there will be some people interested in reading what was said.  Others not so interested can ignore the post or scroll to sections that interest them.  We are only having Council meetings once a month with no other meetings like we did prior to the amalgamation.  Therefore, one long post a month is not too bad.  WestConnex is also an important issue for our municipality.

I am still rusty with note taking, so have missed quite a bit of what was said, though I think I managed to write down important points.  The following is how I understood the meeting & all mistakes are mine.  Anything in [  ] is my comment.


This was an Extraordinary Council Meeting of the Inner West Council, the subject of which was a matter of dissention many times during the meeting.  It was held at Ashfield Chambers. All Councillors attended.

The Councillors & Wards are as follows – (in alphabetical order) –

Ashfield: Tom Kiat (Greens), Mark Drury (Labor), Julie Passas (Liberal).

Balmain: Rochelle Porteous (Greens), John Stamolis (Independent), Darcy Byrne (Labor).

Leichhardt: Marghanita Da Cruz (Greens), Lucille McKenna (Labor), Vittoria Raciti (Liberal).

Marrickville: Colin Hesse (Greens), Victor Macri (Independent), Sam Iskandar (Labor).

Stanmore: Louise Steer (Greens), Pauline Lockie (Independent), Anna York (Labor).

The Greens Councillors requested that an Extraordinary Council meeting be held to consider the following motions:

Motion 1:

Inner West Council is currently preparing its submission on the WestConnex Stage 3 M4-M5 Link which is due to be lodged on October 16. It is critical that council urgently engages all experts to provide the detailed and considered assessment of Stage 3 that the community expects from council. This includes (this list not being exclusive) consultants with expertise in traffic modelling, tunnel engineering, health and safety, air pollution, cost-benefit and environment and planning expertise.

That council directs the General Manager to immediately appoint of all consultants with the specialist expertise required to ensure that all aspects of the WestConnex Stage 3 M4- M5 Link proposal are fully assessed by council. These consultants to be appointed urgently by council to include (this list not be exclusive): consultants in traffic modelling and management; in tunnel engineering; in all health and safety aspects of the projection air pollution; on the financial case and cost-benefit analysis and environmental and planning impacts. Full assessment of the impacts on the community of the construction phase, including changes to bus stop, pedestrian and cycle routes must also be undertaken. Where there is a shortfall in funding allocated to this work, additional funding should come from property reserves.

Motion 2:

  • That Council immediately establishes a council taskforce to oversee a communications campaign aimed at stopping WestConnex from proceeding.
  • That the membership of this taskforce is all interested Councillors, relevant council staff (Communications) and representatives from all the local groups campaigning against WestConnex.
  • That an initial amount of $50,000 be allocated to appoint a communications firm to run the campaign to stop WestConnex from proceeding.

Motion 3:

  • That council bring that draft council submission on WestConnex Stage 2 M4-M5 Link to an open council meeting for consideration by the councillors with contribution from the community on the submission sought at the meeting before it is finalised and submitted.

Motion 4:

  • That council commits to urgently match fund with the City of Sydney Council for $50,000 (deferred for determination to the new council) required to cover half the costs of employment (with related costs) of a full-time community organiser to work under no WestConnex Public Transport Inc supervision to support and capacity build local No WestConnex groups.

However, Mayor Byrne introduced his own Mayoral Minutes, which he ruled should be heard as the first items on the agenda, hence the dissention.  The legality of this was debated a number of times with Mayor Byrne restating that his ruling stands.

Mayoral Motion 1:

That: Inner West Council formally adopts a position of continued opposition in the
 strongest terms to the WestConnex project, both approved and future stages including stage 3, consistent with the positions of the former councils of Ashfield, Leichhardt & Marrickville.

Community speaker 1 – I don’t actually know the details of the positions of Ashfield, Leichhardt & Marrickville & I think this Mayoral Motion is a way to railroad something through.  A great deal of people here are not ofay with the position of Ashfield, Leichhardt & Marrickville Councils on WestConnex.

Mayor Byrne – These are not new positions & were democratically elected by the Councils of the Inner West.

Community speaker 1 – I disagree with the last phrase of the Motion.  None of us are aware of the former Councils’ positions.  It’s not relevant.  We are now moving forward.  It should be a statement of opposition to WestConnex.

Clr Passas – I am in favour of WestConnex.  I was elected as a representative of Ashfield.  As a Councillor of the Inner West Council I have to vote in other areas [of the municipality.]  I do listen & take on.  I have always been in favour of WestConnex.  However, we have to make sure we get a fair outcome for residents.  There will be some trial & error.  The government will make mistakes.  I am totally against any more rate-payers’ money used for this.  Staff can go to the government with the residents’ concerns.  I am totally opposed to any more rate-payers’ money used for political purposes.  I know plenty of issues where residents fought against the government & they were not given financial support.  Every group will come to Council for financial support.  Fight out of your own pocket!

Clr Drury – I too spoke to many people during the election.  Many wanted to talk about WestConnex with me.  Many in our community are deeply concerned about this project & the effects it will have on our community.  I was told that I was not opposed to WestConnex.  I am totally opposed to the most incompetently run large project this government has run in the last 40-years.  It’s poorly run & poorly executed.  It is important for elected Councillors to say we are opposed to WestConnex.  We did not pretend we will stop the project.  We have no legal ability to stop the project.

Clr Hesse – Moved dissent from the Chair.

Mayor Byrne – Asked staff whether the Mayoral Minute can be first during an Extraordinary Council Meeting.  Staff read aloud from a document that a Mayoral Minute can be done first.   [ People in the Gallery noted that he was reading about ‘meetings,’ not ‘Extraordinary Council Meetings.’]

Clr York – I do intend to fight with the community to protect us from WestConnex because I believe it is causing a car park.  I don’t believe that the NSW government that WestConnex will be good for our community.  The state government have willfully ignored more than 1,000 submissions from the community.  If our community gives an inch, WestConnex takes a mile.  Our Council should have clear opposition to WestConnex.

Clr McKenna – I am in support of the Mayoral Motion, particularly the part of the three former Councils.  Ashfield started in 2012.  I attended a meeting & told the then Minister for Roads that this will be a disaster.  Public transport will alleviate congestion.  I thank staff officers for the work they have done, especially during a period of administration.

Clr Lockie – I support opposition to WestConnex.  12 out of 15 Councillors are opposed to WestConnex.  Regarding funding, many people in the Gallery have been putting in their own money & also in non-financial terms.  You give up time where you could be doing other things.  There is a big emotional toll too.  WestConnex is the biggest infrastructure project in the country & the biggest impact is in the Inner West.  It’s incumbent to Council to support from a financial point of view.

Clr Hesse – I am disappointed by the procedure of tonight’s meeting.  Putting the Mayoral Motion in front of the Motions is not good practice.  All 15 of us would be opposed to the impact of WestConnex.  Where we differ is what we do about it.  Regarding amelioration, I don’t know what is in the fine details of the previous councils.  I am concerned we are voting from a grey area.

Clr Stamolis –  We hear a lot about expenditure of rate-payers’ money, but on this occasion, it is our community asking us to make the expenditure.  WestConnex is a $17-billion project, an incomprehensible sum of money delivering poor outcomes for Sydney itself.  We are not delivering world-leading outcomes.  We are getting some of the worst environmental outcomes.  We need to build transport public infrastructure. $17-billion would have gone a long way to achieving that.

Clr Porteous – I am pleased we are opposing WestConnex.  Our position is actively opposing – putting our money where our mouth is.  I am concerned that the second Mayoral Minute seems more about amelioration, not opposing WestConnex.  My Labor/Liberal colleagues want to oppose, but not act.  You should have not tried to stop the public speaking tonight. [The Inner West Council website initially said that the public were not allowed to speak to the Councillors because it was an Extraordinary Council Meeting.  This was retracted.]   The important thing tonight is to get an outcome that opposes WestConnex & is not about mitigation.  All of the 4 [Greens] motions will get an outcome.  I expect Labor & Liberal not to support these motions [by the Greens.]

Clr Iskandar –  We were working really hard to stop WestConnex & its negative effect in every street.  That’s why I said to my community we will be working in every street.  Every one of us knows that every Labor member in Ashfield, Leichhardt & Marrickville used to go most days where they could meet with residents to work as one community working together as one people.  This group here is only one group against WestConnex.  We have a bigger group than here against WestConnex & working with us.

Clr Steer –  There are 12 Councillors here strongly opposed to WestConnex.   The impacts of WestConnex are ongoing, permanent & irreversible.  I do support Council continuing to oppose WestConnex.  I don’t support the Mayoral Minute used to hijack the conversation.  The deadline for submissions is 16th October.  The previous submissions were not put in the strongest terms & in the form of mitigation like the Mayoral Minute.  The Mayoral Minute was sprung on us at the very last minute.  This is not the way to work together.  We should be aiming our arrows at the state government who want private investors to buy 51% of WestConnex.

Clr Macri – This state significant project is not a project Council has any control over.  The power Council has to challenge & stop – it is not ours’.  To say the community is completely united is not correct.  Currently it is 50/50. The previous council has spent $750,000.  Mr Pearson spent $1.5 million for all the consultants.  We need to focus on what we need from this project.  Do we scream & say No WestConnex?   We need innovation.  To say “No! No!” is not getting us anywhere.  We need the stacks filtered.  Even Churchill pulled out of France when he knew it was untenable!

Clr Da Cruz – Anyone who wants to comment on WestConnex visit the Haberfield site [& another site, which I missed.] It is our responsibility to oppose this project.  The commonwealth government has slammed this project.  The debt will fall on our children’s children.   It is the responsibility of Council to assess the EIS impacts on noise modeling – completely inadequate so far.  The Mayoral Minute should say we critically oppose WestConnex.

VOTE:  Clr Passas against.  Carried.

Mayoral Motion 2:

Mayor Byrne then read the following out loud to both the Councillors & the Gallery despite numerous requests from the Gallery not to do so.

That Council:

  1. Note that consultant reports, costing in excess of $450 000, on the traffic impacts of each stage of the WestConnex project as well as an assessment of the Environmental Impact Statement for Stage 3 of the project, are due to be completed imminently. These studies include assessments of tunnel engineering, traffic modelling, air pollution, active & public transport & construction impacts. Council Officers & consultants have identified the following preliminary concerns about impacts in the Inner West Council area:
  2. a) Air quality impacts from emissions from unfiltered ventilation stacks proposed for Haberfield, Rozelle & St Peters. The stack on Victoria Road, Rozelle near Terry Street raises particular concern due its proximity to densely developed residential areas & schools. Council is also concerned about emissions from all surface roads near interchanges that have additional traffic from WestConnex;
  3. b) Construction impacts including noise, vibration, dust, truck traffic & employee parking demand from a number of construction sites in Haberfield, Ashfield, Leichhardt, Lilyfield, Rozelle, Annandale/Camperdown & St Peters. Stage 3 would prolong the terrible impacts residents have already endured from Stages 1 and 2. More stringent conditions of approval, stronger enforcement of compliance & improved management of cumulative impacts are all needed to ensure residents affected by Stage 3 are not subject to the same intolerable impacts as those affected by Stages 1 and 2;
  4. c) Operational traffic impacts when each stage of WestConnex opens. Council is not only concerned about the broad impact of extra traffic attracted by the motorway (induced traffic), it is also concerned about extra traffic (rat-running) on residential streets around the Haberfield, St Peters & Rozelle interchanges. For Stage 3, Council is particularly concerned about extra traffic on streets including The Crescent & Johnston Street at Annandale, Frederick, Alt, Bland, Waratah & Dalhousie Streets at Haberfield and Ashfield & Canal Road at St Peters;
  5. d) The need to protect local streets that may be affected, by all stages of the project, by additional traffic (rat-running), by implementing traffic calming on those streets, fully funded by the NSW Government;
  6. e) Need to reclaim road space to implement public transport, activetransport & streetscape improvements wherever traffic is reduced by WestConnex, with these improvements fully funded by the NSW Government. In particular, these kinds of improvements are sought for Victoria Road, Rozelle & Parramatta Road for its entire length through the Inner West Council area;
  7. f) Need for quality design and full delivery of Rozelle Rail Yards recreation area. Council acknowledges that further detailed design work for the Rozelle Rail Yards (RRY) recreation area would be undertaken later. At this stage however, Council has concerns about impacts on the RRY recreation area from WestConnex service areas (ventilation stacks, transformers, water treatment area) & believes pedestrian & cycle connectivity across & to the site could be improved. Council would also like to see an early commitment from the NSW Government to deliver the RRY recreation area to Council or other appropriate body fully constructed for public use at the earliest opportunity;
  8. g) Need to ensure the project does not sever future public transport corridors, in particular that the use of the Rozelle Rail Yards site for WestConnex must not sever rights-of-way for future public transport projects such as light rail to White Bay in Balmain & Sydney Metro West heavy rail; &
  9. h) Overall lack of transparency, oversight & accountability by the NSW State Government agencies – In the planning, design and construction of the toll road system, resulting in a desperate lack of clear communication, certainty & / or remedy by residents in the community impacted by this project. This has been exacerbated with the forced amalgamation of the affected Marrickville, Leichhardt & Ashfield Councillors & the sacking of elected local representatives. During this period local residents & groups have had to take on the work of elected representatives in the area, and should be acknowledged for their effort and impact during this period.
  10. Further note that the cost this year of the operation of the WestConnex Unit is projected at $860 000 & to exceed $1.5 million, in total, by 2019/20.

  1. Convene a series of on-site meetings for residents & business owners in the immediate vicinity of the construction & dive sites proposed in the Stage 3 EIS to provide location specific, factual information to them about Council’s assessment of the impacts, including air quality, traffic & construction impacts. This should include meetings to be held at Haberfield, Leichhardt, Rozelle, Camperdown & St Peters;
  2. Write to the Minister for WestConnex: Urgently seeking a meeting to discuss the ongoing and unacceptable impacts on residents in Haberfield & St Peters from utility companies associated with the project conducting night works & the ongoing failure of vehicle operators to adhere to the project’s conditions of consent & traffic management plans;
  • To demand assumptions & scenarios underlying the traffic modelling, contain in the Stage 3 EIS, not just model output;
  • Seeking full funding from the NSW Government of all traffic calming & amelioration expenditure required as a result of WestConnex;
  • Seeking the delivery of all legacy lands to Council or an appropriate body for public use at the earliest possible time.
  • Seek a guaranteed funding commitment contained in the Stage 3 EIS conditions of consent for SMC to fund improvements to residual lands in accordance with council’s requirements; &
  • Requesting that the Preferred Infrastructure Report for Stage 3 be publicly released prior to any assessment or approval.
  1. Produce a report investigating the potential to initiate a dilapidation & structural assessment service for home & business owners impacted by tunneling for the WestConnex project. The report should detail how the service could be provided on a cost recovery basis. Internal legal advice will be sought when drafting this report to determine if there are legal &/or administrative barriers to Council’s involvement in the dilapidation reporting process.
  • Commit to ongoing coordination of & support for the work of the WestConnex Community Liaison Committee in order to allow for the transparent flow of information between Council & the various WestConnex community groups.
  • State its preference for advocacy regarding WestConnex not to be outsourced to advertising agencies or external contractors & instead be conducted through Council’s WestConnex Unit;
  • Commit to always undertaking interrogation & analysis of SMC traffic modelling to fully understand impacts of traffic flows on surface emissions & stack emissions in the Inner West Council area;
  • Complete Independent traffic modelling in affected areas to understand potential air quality impacts of induced traffic at interchanges & potential rat runs throughout the Council area, noting that some of this work is already underway;
  • Wherever possible, identify specific impacts & issues, relating to the construction phase, and suggest improvements that could strengthen approval conditions & enforcement actions to address these long term, cumulative impacts. These should be articulated in Council’s EIS response, drawing from lessons learned in the design, approval & construction of Stages 1 and 2;
  • Establish within Council of a log of complaints register & a process whereby residents within the Council area can log a copy of complaints made to SMC & state agencies in response to construction conditions, so that Council may make additional representation on behalf of residents to relevant state agencies & ministers. This should include dedicated contact numbers made available to residents to easily log complaints;
  • Produce a report for consideration by Councillors about how the existing plans for WestConnex detrimentally impact on potential public transport options, such as the White Bay Light Rail extension & the Sydney Metro West & major transport arteries such as Parramatta Road & Victoria Road. The report should also assess alternative proposals including the City of Sydney’s alternative plans.
  • Oppose, in principle, the City of Sydney’s proposal for 13 000 units to be built at the site of the St Peters interchange, [Egads!] noting that this would be a greater increase in residential density than is proposed in total for the Inner West Council area through the Government’s Sydenham to Bankstown rezoning proposals.
  • Dedicate an officer within the WestConnex Unit to: Support & assist the work of the various action groups, acknowledging the proliferation & complexity of issues associated with the WestConnex project & the need for dedicated local support within the IWC area to focus on issues specific to the M4-M5 link & interchanges.

The responsibilities of this position should include support & facilitation of community responses to planning & design documents, facilitation of log of complaints by residents, & support for Council’s advocacy on behalf of the Inner West community to relevant state agencies & Ministers.   [Later in the debate it was stated that contents of this motion derived from Council documents.]

Clr Lockie – Have any reports been made public?

Staff – These will be made public when they become available.  The EIS assessment is still in draft form.  It is due Monday week, so we will do a presentation at tomorrow night’s meeting & also a briefing for Councillors on Thursday night.  A submission from Council, then an amended submission from Councillors.

Clr Porteous –  The money spent on the EIS, note one sum.  I ask you to outline what that covers & what is being proposed beyond that.  Was there a reason why we did not engage a consultant to look at noise, health etc?  Why have we underspent on the EIS when we only have one bite of the cherry?

Staff – We did engage consultants to look at all these issues.  We can take on board extra studies of 30 odd areas, but we would need guidance on this.

Clr Porteous –  Asked that the draft submission due on 12 October & the final amended submission on 24 October be added to the Mayoral Minute. Mayor Byrne did not want to do this & said the staff were not lying.  After a short debate where Clr Porteous said this was not what she was saying, the Mayor apologized.

Clr De Cruz – Asked that Council briefs to the consultants be given to the Councillors.  Staff agreed to do this asap.  She asked, what was the timeline of the brief given to the consultants?   Staff – Need to look though the files.

Community speaker 1 – I came here expecting to hear discussions on 4 motions.  I am now listening to 2 extra Mayoral Motions being read to me.  Sorry Mayor, your Mayoral Motions are obfuscating the motions. The lack of transparency is being noted.  I respectfully request that you withdraw this motion.  The Mayor refused.

Community speaker 2 –  If the Mayoral Motions are passed will they negate all or some of the motions meant to be debated?

Mayor Byrne – This is not a senate estimates Sir.

Community speaker 2 –   I request that you consider amending your Mayoral Motions. 14 replacing with Motions 2,3 & 4. I didn’t realise we would have to sit through you reading your Mayoral Motion.  It is not urgent.  It is an abuse of your authority of Mayor.

Community speaker 3 –   I express my disappointment of your Mayoral Motion & speak against it.  None of these address the environmental impact that is incumbent on Council to fully understand.  Nothing new there.  The detail on the Rozelle Interchange is so limited.  If you don’t have information, how can a proper assessment be made? Also, Item 14, Mayoral Motions be deleted & replaced with the Motions from the Greens.

Community speaker 4 –   I am disappointed that the Mayoral Motions come across as a power play. The Mayoral Motion 2 is a lot to deal with.  I call on Councillors to lobby for an extension & can we please adopt a more collaborative approach than these stupid games we see tonight?

Community speaker 5 –   Mayor, why did you choose to collaborate with the two Liberals who support WestConnex?

Mayor Byrne – I am not quite as unpopular as some may think.  This is not related to the debate right now.

Community speaker 6 –   I have a few problems with the Mayoral Motion 2 as it stands.  I am disappointed at strong focus on amelioration, lack of details & lack of resources.  Will council staff be asked to take on roles?  What confidence will this give residents? The EIS equivocates enormously.  The potential structural damage to homes has been overlooked in the EIS.  Nowhere does it show a simple dilapidation report at the beginning.  We are denied geophysical reports.

Community speaker 7 –   This long motion looks comprehensive.  It is not.  The detail on the EIS is limited & makes it difficult for residents to respond. This is why we look to council to critique.  From the outset, we know the government plans to sell the project.  Once sold it will be nearly impossible to identify who is liable for any damage.  Not only are we looking at WestConnex & the Metro in the very neglected St Peters, never mind the other building that will go on for years.  We are worried about the stacks.  The air pollution is the worst it has ever been.  We need a council to go to the government & say, this is inadequate!  The Council needs to go to planning.  They should redraft the entire thing based on actual plans. Stage 3 is a critical document.  It is not good that it is not in the publics hands prior to the deadline.

Staff – The Administrator requested an extension.  This was denied. Our last letter has not received a reply.

Clr Porteous – Asked when the letter was sent, to which staff replied, “Today.”   The Mayor accused Clr Porteous of accusing staff, to which she replied, “I think it is your fault.”  Said the Motion was made on 21 September 2017 & the Mayor & GM were to write this letter together.

Community speaker 8 –   It is now over 2-hours & we are yet to start discussing the motions.  You [Mayor Byrne] have been lecturing us on respect & curtesy.  Respect is putting documents on the internet 1-2 days before the meeting.  Don’t lecture us about respect.  I am not prepared to support Mayoral Motion & I don’t appreciate having it read to me like I am a 5-year-old child.  Condescending to us.  It is very important that we have proper funding for the position.  We need an urgent extension of time to respond to the 7,000 page EIS.  We urge that the draft be available to community, not just the Councillors.

Mayor Byrne – It was my intention to send to action groups. [He did not say when.]

Community speaker 9 –   Section 1, part F – one concern is the entire document comes across as though WestConnex was happening.  Stage 3 is not underway yet & Stage 3 is what the EIS is about.  It is this Council’s position to put its EIS in before it goes ahead, this excuse for an EIS.  Traffic modeling is highly flawed.  Air quality is flawed. Alternative public transport has not been discussed.  Council should advocate for public transport strongly. Future corridors have not been defined.  Transport corridors should be defined first.  The Metro comes before WestConnex.  Section 12 is again flawed.  We need to define as a Council what would work for us with public transport.   Section 13 is just discussion.

Community speaker 10 –   This is all being done for profit.  You are looking at possibly another Lane Cove Tunnel. The Western Harbour Tunnel doesn’t get built if the traffic doesn’t come through.  The interchange at Rozelle needs to widen roads to get more cars on. The business model is totally flawed. The smoke stacks with increased traffic will lead to more pollution.

[With all this widening of roads, the tree loss will be substantial.]

Mayor Byrne – We have spent $2.2 million on WestConnex.  It is legitimate to limit spending.

Clr Hesse –  This document if passed will be celebrated by Gladys Berejiklian because it is a ‘Surrender Document.’   We stood for a campaign against WestConnex.  It’s a project that will create traffic chaos.  We should have spent the money on public transport.

Clr Porteous – What is the current WestConnex Unit?  What skills does the unit have? What will staff members do?

Staff – WestConnex Unit has a manager, a transport engineer & administration resource person.

Further questioning by Clr Porteous was stopped by Mayor Byrne.

Clr Steer – These are all sensible measures, but there are omissions like health, economic modeling of WestConnex itself. The damage to health will be ongoing & indefinite while WestConnex is being constructed.  With the government plan to put more people into this area, there will be higher rates of people with health problems. It’s a very weak economic model at the heart of WestConnex.  They could not answer my question [at a meeting.]  It will not achieve what the government has stated.  This is not good for our area.  Investors need to be shown that it is a poor investment.

Mayor Byrne – Leichhardt Council did an economic model & there is no new material. Moved that the health report gets sent to Councillors tomorrow.  Staff – We have undertaken high level report on health impacts.

Clr York – I take offense with Clr Hesse that my opposition to WestConnex is unrelated to action.  I strongly believe that we need a dedicated resource regarding impacts of Stage 2-3 with an Inner West lens.  The Mayoral Motion has incredible actions that will help our community.

Clr McKenna – I support the Mayoral Motion.  The lack of detail in the EIS is standard practice with this government.  It’s what happened in Stage 1 and being repeated in Stage 3.  This Mayoral Motion is about the whole project.  This is a mad idea that is being made up as it goes along.  We have a lot of work to ensure the residents are looked after.  We have to be conscious that WestConnex will probably proceed.

Clr Lockie – Asked about the height of stacks at St Peters & why streets in St Peters & Enmore were missed out of the Mayoral Motion.

Staff – The St Peters stack is lower because of the planes.  The Primary school is close.  Terry Street because of the topography & people could be living above the top of the stack.  We are working to come up with all the streets.

Clr Da Cruz – RMS has put forward a proposal & we have to respond.  Council has to do action.  We have a tight timeline.  I don’t understand in what context this Mayoral Motion & how it singled out items.  There are several volumes to the EIS.  None of the major things like the construction of a bridge in Rozelle has been included.

Clr Drury – I understand some people take umbrage when I say WestConnex will be built.  I have been opposing WestConnex since 2012.  I & Clr McKenna are veterans.  We have seen bits of my community destroyed.  I don’t believe we can stop WestConnex, but that won’t stop me from opposing it.  “Brainiacs” want me to put a picnic park under a stack.  I am tired & weary at those who want to hold their breath & say, “Stop it!”  We have no ability to stop it.  “Shame on you if you don’t support the Mayoral Motion!  I got more votes than you!”  [ To which the Gallery shouted back, “Shame on You!” ]

Clr Stamolis There are a lot of things in this motion; a grab-bag of aspirations premised on WestConnex going ahead.  It troubles me.  As a defining statement of Inner West Council, it missed a lot.  It misses high level things.  This is not a world leading project.  It’s a mundane project, not positive, not progressive & not future orientated.  Big roads come through, creates environmental concerns not mentioned.  We will be left with debt.  We need to create jobs out west, create jobs where people live.  We want to increase public transport & reduce reliance on cars.

Clr Passas  –  I go along with the Mayoral Motion because the government has to be accountable & we have to stand up for residents.  Labor started WestConnex.  We have got to think of the people out west.  We are local representatives at local councils. I’d like to know how many people are affected or are we lobbying for public transport.  They are two different issues.  We are elected to look after our residents.  Our elderly are falling because we have unsafe footpaths & no parking.

[At this stage Mayor Byrne called for yet another 5-minute adjournment by way of controlling the Gallery.  It was almost 9pm, 3.5hours after the start of the meeting & we still had not finished Mayoral Minute 2.  The 4 motions of the Greens had yet to be debated.  I was tired, so we left.  I am told that the meeting continued until almost 11pm. ]

The Mayoral Motion 2 was passed.  The vote was unanimous.

Of the Greens’ Motions (see beginning of this post for details) –

  • Motion 1 was passed unanimously.
  • Motion 2 was defeated.  Labor, Liberals & Clr Macri voted against.
  • Motion 3 passed unanimously.
  • Motion 4 was defeated.  Labor, Liberals & Clr Macri voted against.
  • I will add who voted once I get this information.


Today I read the Inner West Council’s Press Release on last night’s meeting & include parts of it for continuity.

“Media Release – Wednesday 4 October 2017

New Council renews opposition to WestConnex.  The newly elected Inner West Council last night recommitted itself a position of opposition to the Westconnex project.

At an Extraordinary Council Meeting, a proposal from Mayor Darcy Byrne to have Council adopt a policy of opposing the destructive project, while also launching a series of actions to ameliorate existing and future impacts on inner west residents, was supported by Councillors.

“We will vociferously oppose this reckless project as well as fighting for every possible protection for local residents, if the Government is so bloody-minded as to ram it through,” Mayor Byrne said.

“Everyone knows that elected Mayors and Councillors were removed from office so the Government could give the green light to WestConnex. Now that democracy has been restored we are going to hit back hard against their destructive agenda in the inner west.”   To read more see –

The End.

BEFORE WestConnex removed two rows of mature trees on Euston Road.  Screenshot thanks to Channel 10 Eyewitness News.

Screenshot of WestConnex destruction on Euston Road. Thanks to Channel 10 Eyewitness News.

Dr Paul Torzillo – Head of Respiratory Medicine at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital spoke about the negative health impacts of WestConnex at the 21st May 2017 meeting of the Camperdown Residents Against WestConnex.

I took the following from the video.  However, I recommend watching the whole video (just over 10 minutes) because Dr Torzillo had a lot more to say about the health impacts of WestConnex.

  • “Traffic-related air pollution is a major contributor to air pollution. Projects like this around the world leads to more cars and more cars coming into cities, raising air pollution. 


  • There is a huge amount of evidence that air pollution leads to increases death from heart disease, increased hospital admissions, increased risk of stroke, increased respiratory disease & deaths from respiratory disease. It also leads to higher rates low birth weight in kids.   There is no question about this.


  • This project is not just an issue for those living in the corridor, this is a thing for Sydney.  The broader Sydney population is going to suffer these consequences.


  • Pollution levels will be higher 0.5km either side, at entry & exits & higher at stack points.


  • The big picture evidence is that traffic-related air pollution is a major contributor to air pollution in general.


  • Air pollution is unequivocally, absolutely shown to increase death rates & the frequency of major health problems in people.”

I have posted here about the impacts of air pollution from traffic quite a few times.  It is great to have a local respiratory medicine specialist to be confirming that traffic-related air pollution will cause major health issues for residents, including early death.

It is not just a road to help people get from A to B in a shorter time.  Pollution moves with the wind, so it will affect Greater Sydney.

If we allow government at all levels to keep pushing through roads & motorways & not spend money improving public transport, we will be living in a very polluted city & suffering the health consequences.  This air pollution will affect all ages from new-borns to the elderly.  No-one will be immune.

Street trees are becoming increasingly important for the community’s health, though you wouldn’t know it if you look at what the WestConnex Authority is doing.  Look at their most recent work in Euston Road Alexandria where they chopped down two rows of mature street trees to increase the road to seven lanes.  Traffic will rise from the current 6,000 vehicles a day to more than 60,000 per day & this is local roads well past the St Peters Interchange.  These people lost their front garden to a highway.  How healthy will it be living there?

You can watch the video here –

Petersham Park has an elegance that should be preserved.

Petersham Park has an elegance that should be preserved.

Good news for historic Petersham Park today after the government announced a new route for the WestConnex Motorway. Instead of taking some of Petersham Park (see –, the motorway will now travel through a tunnel from Haberfield, duplicating the City West Link & connecting to the Anzac Bridge & Victoria Road at Rozelle. Another tunnel from Rozelle will exit at St Peters.

Minister for Roads & Freight Duncan Gay said, “…the motorway would not impact on Petersham Park, & the new route would take the tunnels further from the historic park.”   

This is one bit of good news about a motorway that will severely impact on the community of Marrickville municipality. More information when it comes to light. See –


The biggest news to hit Marrickville municipality happened two days ago when the St Peters Interchange for the WestConnex Motorway was announced.  Prime Minister Abbott arrived to do streetside TV media saying how wonderful the Interchange would be, especially to the residents of Western Sydney.

The St Peters Interchange requires the forced acquisition of 80 houses, utterly devastating to all those families who found out that they were to lose their home only after WestConnex representatives knocked on their door to give them ‘Acquisition Packs.’  Those who were at work came home to find these in their mailbox.

The following are some points regarding the St Peters Interchange from the WestConnex website –

  • “The 16 hectare industrial site at St Peters as a key interchange…” This is Dial a Dump, made famous because it was to be the site for coal seam gas mining exploration drilling, until massive community opposition put a stop to this.
  • They have acknowledged the failure of the M5 East – “…lodging the planning application for higher, wider, flatter & future-proofed tunnels to end the daily battle on the M5 East. The new tunnels will more than double capacity of the M5 East, with the New M5 tunnels built to accommodate three lanes in each direction ….  The current M5 East was arguably Sydney’s worst tunnel project with design flaws that have created frustration for the 100,000 motorists who use the corridor every day.” It was only opened in 2001.
  • “The St Peters Interchange will provide access to key roads in the area, such as Euston Road & Campbell Street & the project will include widening these roads as well as a new bridge over Alexandra Canal to Bourke Road.”  I understand that part of Simpson Park will be lost. This is not good for our municipality, which already has the dubious fame of having the least green space in Australia.

You can read the full information here –

The following is a Press Release from Marrickville Mayor Gardiner who does not mince words, expressing Marrickville Council’s outrage over the plans.  Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Google map of Kendrick Park.

Google map of Kendrick Park.

Clr Leary has asked a Question on Notice regarding the location of WestConnex drilling sites across Marrickville municipality.  The following sites are included in the papers for next Tuesday’s Council Meeting of the 16th September 2014.

Apparently there will be 40 initial boreholes for exploratory drilling in Marrickville municipality.  The locations are as follows –

  • Kendrick Park Tempe
  • Princes Highway Tempe – near Kendrick Park
  • Princes Highway Tempe/Kendrick Park – near Bay Street (West)
  • 886-896 Princes Highway Tempe
  • Brooklyn street Tempe – near number 10
  • Samuel street Tempe – near number 20
  • Sydenham Green Sydenham – near Coptic Orthodox Church building
  • George Street Sydenham – approximately 30-metres from Princes Highway
  • Grove street St Peters – approximately 30-metres west of Princes Highway
  • Berne Street St Peters – approximately 30-metres east of Princes Highway
  • In or near 1 Canal Road St Peters
  • In 314 Princess Highway St Peters (Dial a Dump site)
  • Roberts Street St Peters – near Roberts Lane
  • Edith street St Peters – near number 9
  • 93A Church Street St Peters (St Peters Public School)
  • 110 Campbell Street St Peters
  • 4-16 Campbell Street St Peters
  • Barwon Park Road St Peters – or in adjoining Sydney Park.
Tempe Wetlands - now safe from the WestConnex Motorway

Tempe Wetlands – now safe from the WestConnex Motorway

A Press Release from Marrickville Council says that the NSW state government & the WestConnex Delivery Authority have recognized the importance of Tempe Lands, Tempe Reserve & the Tempe Wetlands telling Council that, “they agree the areas have important recreational, environmental, social & economic value.”

“Planning for the WestConnex M5 Extension route between St Peters & Beverly Hills is now expected to be revised accordingly.” Hopefully, this will save the Wolli Creek bushland & some 400 mature trees & a vital & important habitat for urban wildlife.

This is wonderful news.  The Tempe Wetlands are an important ecological area for the wildlife. The ‘Tempe Birdos,’ a local group of bird-watching volunteers have spotted nearly 60 birds species, three frog species, two reptile species & one species of dragonfly since starting to document the wildlife in November 2011.  For more information, including how to join the Tempe Birdos, see –

Tempe Lands, Tempe Wetlands & Tempe Reserve are all important areas of green space for the Marrickville community, especially as we have the least green space in the whole of Australia. To have a motorway go through these areas would have been a disaster for the residents of Tempe, the wildlife & the users of this green space. It makes me very happy to be able to write that it is not going ahead. Thank you to Marrickville Council for all the lobbying they undertook to obtain this positive outcome.

This is in the section of Wolli Creek that is under threat  Hopefully it will be untouched by the WestConnex Motorway & safe for future generations.

This is in the section of Wolli Creek that is under threat Hopefully it will be untouched by the WestConnex Motorway & safe for future generations.

Tempe Reserve - safe from WestConnex.

Tempe Reserve – safe from WestConnex.



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