Haberfield / Ashfield

This submission has been prepared by residents in Haberfield and Ashfield.

I object to planning application SSI 7485.

This submission is directly informed by, and draws on the experiences of people living within the M4 East Haberfield and Ashfield destruction and construction triangle (Wattle St Interchange and Parramatta Rd interchange).

I demand that instead of sidestepping the actual experience on the ground , the NSW Planning Department engages with and responds to it in the context of the planning approval process of Stage 3 WestConnex. It is intolerable that Haberfield and Ashfield residents should be exposed to five further years of the atrocious and often not predicted impacts of WestConnex.

As a result of this experience, I strongly object to any M4-5 (Stage 3) above ground construction or associated sites in Haberfield and Ashfield.

The M4-5 Link EIS proposes at least 3 and possibly up to six (6) above ground civil and tunnel construction sites in Haberfield and Ashfield.  A considerable part of the proposed construction of Stage 3 would overlap with the construction of the M4 East. However the EiS acknowledges this but fails to deal with it in any meaningful depth.

The EIS provides absolutely no certainty for the residents of Haberfield and Ashfield. Instead it purports to offer a choice of Options A and Option B.

I specifically object to Construction Options A and B in any possible combination.

I object to any approval allowing a contracted project builder to decide, post-approval the detailed design and management of sites including when where and how to establish and operate any of the Option A or Option B civil and tunnel sites outlined in the M4-5Link EIS . I would be shocked if any government authority did not agree that planning decisions that could result in  major impacts on the health and quality of life of people could be made without public feedback and Independent analysis.

I  object to the notion, within the EIS, that there is any ‘choice’ in this matter given the indicative nature of Option A and B, lack of detailed construction design and work plans, as well as the indicative only nature of spoil truck routes.

Breach of Promise to residents

Option A and B both involve a  breach of promise given to residents of Haberfield and Ashfield during the M4 East (Stage 1) EIS process. This promise was given by given by the WestConnex Delivery Authority (WDA) – now the Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC).

Haberfield and Ashfield residents were repeatedly told in 2014 and 2015, during the Concept and EIS Phases of WestConnex Stage 1 (M4 East project), if or when WestConnex Stage 3 were to be proposed and approved, that there would be no need for above ground construction in this area for the building of the M4-5 Link tunnel.

At many information sessions and meetings, residents were told that whilst there would be major impacts on residents during the building of the M4 East, that ‘all would be over for us in 2019’  at the point when the M4 East tunnel was completed.

They were specifically informed that road headers would continue underground from the M4-5 Link mainline tunnel stubs (ending under 142 Alt St Haberfield);  that any connector tunnel from the Wattle St surface ramps to the mainline tunnel would be built underground; and that the M4-5 Link surface road entry and exit ramps on Wattle St, (alongside the M4 East ramps) would be all that was needed for construction and spoil truck vehicles.

In summary, residents were repeatedly informed that if the M4-5 Link were to be approved, everything required for it would have been built and completed as part of the construction of WestConnex M4 East.

‘Indicative’ nature of EIS is not acceptable

I object to the whole ‘indicative’ nature tone of the EIS. SMC staff have admitted at information sessions that this is little more than a concept design. I specifically object to the lack of detailed construction site and work plans associated with any of the proposed Haberfield and Ashfield above ground sites.

Residents and Councils have repeatedly objected to the staged approach to the planning of WestConnex. This allows what seems to be settled proposals to become open ended and shift between stages. There is a lack of integration between the M4-5 Link and M4 East projects in Haberfield and Ashfield, effectively extending above ground construction sites and construction and spoil trucking in the community from 2019 until 2022/23. This exposes residents to up to eight years of construction impacts. This is either due to poor construction planning and management – or total disregard for the cumulative adverse health and social impacts upon residents.

The impacts of construction were underestimated in the EIS for both the M4 widening ( for the people of Granville) and the M4 East. Either the authors of this EIS have failed to learn from experience or are deliberately underestimating and describing the likely impacts on residents.

When the M4 East preferred route and M4 East EIS was released in September 2015, a much larger interchange at Wattle St, Haberfield was announced than had originally been proposed during the Concept Phase in 2014. This larger interchange, requiring demolition of many homes and commercial premises was ‘justified’ to residents because the future M4-5 Link tunnel was to be constructed entirely underground and also within M4-5 Link surface entry and exit ramps to be built as part of the M4 East Project. Wattle St was widened to all allow for both M4 East and M4-5 Link surface to tunnel entry and exit ramps. As well, the M4 East Parramatta Rd Ventilation Facility was to be built as a single large and massive complex, between Wattle St and Walker Avenue, Haberfield because it was to contain the exhaust stack chimneys for both the M4 East tunnel and the future M4-5 Link tunnel.