Submission by Sharon Laura of Haberfield

Few people know more about the impact of Westconnex than Haberfield resident Sharon Laura. Her home in Haberfield would be surrounded by massive construction sites should the M4 East be allowed to go ahead. Drawing on her long experience with social and health issues, Sharon has met, talked and provided support to hundreds of residents along the project route, including tenants and owners who are deeply distressed at having their homes taken off them with such short notice to leave. She is a spokesperson for the Haberfield Westconnex Action Group and has attended lots of EIS and information sessions where she has tried to get answers to her many questions. This is just part of her submission. Sub headings and some emphases have been added by People’s EIS editor

Sharon Laura ( sitting) at Stop Westconnex protest with neighbours. September, 2015
Sharon Laura ( sitting) at Stop Westconnex protest with neighbours. September, 2015

I write to submit in relation to the Environmental Impact Statement for the WestConnex M4 East project. I am opposed to both the M4 East project and all other proposed stages of WestConnex. I request a response to my concerns outlined in this submission. (20151030 SL Final Part A)

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Tackling Congestion with congestion pricing; Important questions but no answers from Westconnex – Lyall Kennedy Submission Part 3

Given that congestion levels are only likely to be reduced for a maximum ten years, at which point we would be back to where we are in 2015, there needs to be consideration of alternative ways to manage and reduce congestion.

Infrastructure NSW commissioned a discussion paper on congestion pricing. The paper Pricing Congestion in Sydney was published by ICIL Tasman in April 2012. The paper reviews alternative ways to manage congestion:

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Environmental Scientist finds more work needed on noise and vibration EIS

Comments on Noise and Vibration Assessment

SLR Consulting was hired by Westconnex to conduct an assessment of the noise and vibration impacts of  the Westconnex. Its report can be found in Chapter 10 of Volume 1A from 10.1 onwards continued at 10-3 -10-47 [here](10-3 -10-47) and also in Volume 2C, Appendix I.

Noise could have a long term impact on those who would live beside the proposed M4 East or in local streets and roads carrying extra traffic nearer tunnel exits and on ‘rat runs’. Construction noise from demolition, thousands of truck movements a day and rock crushers would impact on local communities and businesses. In some situations this could occur for several years. In others, the impact would be over shorter periods. Research has shown that noise does have negative effects on health. Vibration from construction including tunneling could cause cracked walls. Westconnex has already begun warning residents of this risk.

The SLR report does recommend noise mitigation for some buildings, although only up to the first story. It recommends noise walls and other strategies that would reduce the noise. Some buildings on Parramatta Rd that would under normal circumstances be offered noise protection would be left exposed so that the land between these buildings and the motorway can later be developed.

In the absence of that we asked an environmental scientist to review the material in Chapter 10 in the EIS . For personal reasons to do with her employment, we cannot publish the environmental scientist’s name.

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Case study : Why won’t RMS pay Kim Sun market value for his home?

Interview by Nicole Gooch

For many, working to own your own home is an important part of life in Sydney, although it is increasingly unlikely for younger residents due to rising house prices. People work hard to meet expectations. The least they expect is that when it comes to the ownership of their home, they will be treated fairly.

In an earlier post, we discussed the impact of losing your home on older residents and the fears of those who would be left behind about what it would be like to live in the middle of a huge construction site for months, or even years. The picture emerging is far from what Premier Mike Baird called “doing everything we can in terms of compensation, looking after them, provide provision for a new home” or the low key distanced tone of the Westconnex GHD Social Impact study

But you don’t have to be old to be severely affected by the threat of losing your home for less than its value, especially when all the stress you’re experiencing leads you to call Westconnex’s so called free counselling service and they don’t ring back.

This is the story of Kim Sun whose home at 21 Young Street will be smashed for Westconnex.

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Narrow interests plus public transport failure behind Westconnex M4 East – Lyall Kennedy Submission Part 2

(Ed: This is Part 2 of Transport Economist Lyall Kennedy’s submission to the EIS. Kennedy is a transport economist and ex Mayor of Ashfield Council. Part One is here)

What came first – WestConnex or the Strategic Plans

There is a requirement for the EIS that the proponent’s proposal is consistent with all Sydney’s strategic planning instruments. Requiring this project to be consistent with all strategic planning instruments sounds reasonable until you realise that all the plans were rewritten in 2012/2013 to place WestConnex at the centre of their transport strategies.

Up until 2012, metro strategy development in NSW was based on developing the broad strategy planning objectives and then discussing options to meet these strategic objectives before proposing individual projects/actions. Linking the M4 with the M5, as proposed by WestConnex, was never included as a project to realise previous Metropolitan Strategies.

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Transport economist explains poor project selection behind Westconnex : Kennedy Submission, Part One

(Ed: Transport economist Lyall Kennedy’s submission will be published in several parts. It has already been sent to the NSW Department of Planning. This first part includes a focus on the NSW Auditor General’s 2014 report on Westconnex that has never been properly responded to by the Baird government. As some referencing as been lost in this publication, full PDF will be published later on this site)


My name is Lyall Kennedy. I am a Transport Economist with over 38 years experience in transport delivery and planning. I have held senior executive roles in the State Government and the private sector.

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No extensions for public submissions, so 6 days to go!

The Minister for Planning Rob Stokes has failed to respond to hundreds of letters and calls from the public seeking more than 55 days to respond to a 5000 page EIS for the M4 East. Today the editors of the People’s EIS have been informed that there will be no extension.

So with only six days to go, here’s how to make your submission.

You can make more than one submission – for example on different topics or you can update an earlier submission.

Here’s what you can do :

If contracts can be let and no full business case made public (or even finished) before the EIS was even lodged, we conclude that our planning system badly needs reform in favour of public evidence based processes rather than hidden deals driven by commercial interests.

AECOM poor choice for EIS given conflicts of interest

By Wendy Bacon

Those who have submitted contributions to People’s EIS have pointed out serious flaws in Westconnex EIS reports. On Friday, Ashfield Council published its submission, which includes further critical reports from independent consultants.

It is therefore relevant to look more closely at the company that prepared the M4 EIS.
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