After years of community pressure for this disastrous, polluting tollroad project to be investigated, Greens Member for Newtown Jenny Leong MP, NSW Greens spokesperson on WestConnex and Dr Mehreen Faruqi, NSW Greens spokesperson on Transport, have welcomed this development believing it’s long overdue for the horrors of this project to be exposed.
Jenny Leong MP said:
“For months we have been working behind the scenes in the parliament – and supporting the community push – to get up an inquiry into WestConnex – so it is very welcome that it is now finally happening.
“Back in May 2016, I convened the Peoples WestConnex Inquiry because we knew that there was so much to expose about this disastrous project – two years later the personal stories of hardship, the scandals and the lack of transparency have grown even greater.
“Together with so many members of the community and stakeholder groups, we put many of these concerns on the public record and delivered a 10,000 strong petition to the Premier to stop WestConnex.
“I hope that many in the community impacted by this polluting tollroad will feel some sense of relief with news of this inquiry today – knowing that their knowledge about the failures of this process, the negative impact on our communities and the questionable processes will now be scrutinised.
“I want to congratulate the communities who have fought long and hard for this Inquiry – let’s show this project for what it is – an exorbitantly expensive road to nowhere!”
Dr Faruqi said:
“Even with this Government’s obsession with secrecy, we have managed to expose the major flaws with Westconnex. This inquiry will finally provide an opportunity to fully scrutinise the debacle that this toll road is and the real motivations behind building it.
“Finally we will be able to question the business case used to push through this massive toll road and to shine a light on the deceptive and secretive nature of this Government’s decisions.
“Communities across Sydney have come out strongly against this behemoth toll road, because it just won’t work. There is no justification for Westconnex on any grounds, it’s simply a deal for their mates in tolling companies.
BACKGROUND – Terms of Reference into the WestConnex Inquiry (link here)
Inquiry into the impact of the WestConnex Project
- That the Public Accountability Committee inquire into and report on the impact of the WestConnex project, including:
(a) the adequacy of the business case for the WestConnex project, including the cost-benefits ratio
(b) the cost of WestConnex project, including the size and reasons for overruns
(c) consideration of the governance and structure of the WestConnex project including the relationship between Sydney Motorway Corporation, Roads and Maritime Services, the Treasury and its shareholding Ministers
(d) the compulsory acquisition of property for the project
(e) the recommendations of the Audit Office of New South Wales and the Australian National Audit Office in regards to WestConnex
(f) the extent to which the project is meeting the original goals of the project as articulated in 2012
(g) the relationship between WestConnex and other toll road projects including the Sydney Gateway, Western Harbour Tunnel, F6 and Beaches Link
(h) the circumstances by which WestConnex and the Sydney Gateway were declared to be separate projects in 2017
(i) the cost of the project against its current valuation as determined through the sale of the Sydney Motorway Corporation and whether it represents a good investment for NSW taxpayers
(j) any other related matter.
- That the committee report by 1 December 2018.