Baird Government Abandons Homeowners To Protect Property Developers
September 12, 2015
The Baird Government has decided it would rather endanger more than 500 homes than run the risk of angering property developers eager to build along Parramatta road.
The Baird Government has broken a promise to residents in the Sydney suburbs of Concord, Burwood and Croydon that the WestConnex tunnel would run directly beneath Parramatta road, not their homes.
As late as June this year, a media release announcing the M4 detailed design plans showed the government was still promising to build the tunnel under Parramatta road. The media release states:
The Australian and NSW Governments are wasting no time in delivering a world class motorway for Sydney, announcing the preferred design for the M4 East tunnels to run under Parramatta Road.
The decision to change the route was made without consultation with residents and when questioned, the WestConnex Delivery Authority denied the decision was made to allow high rise development to occur on Parramatta road.
However, the Environment Impact Statement (EIS) released this week shows the Baird Government aims to keep property developers happy while breaking promises to residents.
The EIS lists the reason for the tunnels move as:
The positioning of the tunnels south of Parramatta Road would also preserve the corridor for future development as part of the Parramatta Road urban renewal strategy. This would allow development along the majority of Parramatta Road to occur without the restriction of a tunnel below.
The decision to back property developers and high rise development comes at a significant cost to nearby residents who have been identified in the EIS as being at risk of property damage and construction noise from the work’s vibrations.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Jodi McKay
“The Baird Government is throwing its support behind property developers rather than the homeowners and locals who will be directly impacted by the tunnel’s repositioning.”
“The Baird Government clearly has its priorities out of order. Focusing on developers at the cost of homes is too great a cost.”
“The WestConnex Delivery Authority denied the decision to reposition the tunnel was made to allow highrise development on Parramatta road. The information contained in the EIS is in direct conflict with the response given by the Authority.”