Eds: This sample submission focuses on the impacts of Stage 3 WestCONnex on Newtown.
The points also apply to Erskineville and Enmore.
It has been prepared with input from a number of local residents.
It’s written in the first person but you can easily change it for a group submission or use part of it for an information sheet. You can also:
- copy and paste whole or part of this submission for your own submission or share it with others
- use it to trigger your own ideas
- use some it and mix it with objections on other topics relevant to the EIS ( for example Social and Economic Impact).
When you have finished drafting a submission, here’s the link to our online submission. Remember you can make as many submissions as you like.
Submission to WestConnex New M4/M5 EIS, project number SSI 16_7485
I object to the whole WestConnex Stage 3 and in particular the impact it will have on the residents of Newtown, Enmore and Erskineville.
The EIS traffic analysis does not provide results of traffic modelling of any local roads including Erskineville Rd, King St or Enmore Rd. The EIS for the New M5 predicted that 60,000 vehicles extra a day will pour down the widened Euston Rd. These vehicles would either be heading further East, into the CBD or across via Erskineville and other roads to other parts of the Inner West including King Street. Only a small proportion of these vehicles would choose to use a tunnel to Haberfield or Rozelle.
Traffic congestion will worsen as a result of WestConnex which will impact on the health of residents, especially those living within 50 metres of roads. Hundreds of people live in units along Euston, Sydney Park, Mitchell and Erskineville Rds. and King Street. Erskineville School and Newtown School are both close to roads. There is also no modelling of Enmore or Edgeware Rd. both of which will be impacted by increased traffic congestion. (There is a large amount of literature which documents this finding – here is a US article from 2013 )
When EIS consultants at public exhibition events were asked why there was no modelling beyond the corner of Maddox Street and Euston Rd, they told residents that this was mandated by RMS. It is obvious that modelling needs to be done over a larger area to measure the impacts of traffic pouring out of interchange. The reasons for RMS drawing the traffic analysis boundaries so narrowly should be made transparent.
Tunnelling and Heritage
There has been no evaluation of the potential impacts of tunnelling on hundreds of old buildings including valuable and treasured heritage ones.
The documentation of the heritage in Newtown is inadequate. The promise that repairs would be done if damage occurs during tunnelling does not impress or satisfy communities along the tunnel route.
Residents in the eastern part of Newtown were not notified of the SMC’s intention to tunnel under Newtown School and surrounding buildings during the concept design phase. To this day they have never been notified that they could be impacted by WestConnex Stage 3. This is a failure of ‘meaningful consultation’ which is a requirements of the SEARS for this EIS.
Clearways in King Street
The NSW Planning assessment decision for the New M5 stated that the NSW government was committed to having no clearways on King Street, other than the current weekday peak hour ones. Shortly after this EIS was released, the RMS announced that they would be moving towards clearways in King Street, Newtown during the weekend. This countermanded a promise made by the ex- Minister for Roads Duncan Gay in 2015 and the commitment to in the earlier New M5 EIS decision.
Residents and business owners know that clearways would kill King Street. After the community expressed its anger, the Minister for Roads Melinda Pavey and the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Anthony Albanese announced that there would be no clearways. These political shifts would seem to be more designed to assuage public opinion rather than to present an honest assessment of what the impact of increased traffic flowing from the St Peters Interchange will be on King Street and on surrounding roads.
Unless WestConnex including Stage 3 is stopped, the thriving precinct of King Street Newtown will be vulnerable to clearways.
We need transport policy that reduces traffic congestion not encourages it.