Everything you didn’t want to know about WestConnex

The plan

The State and Federal Governments are proposing spending $15 billion dollars (more than $3,000 for every man, woman and child in Sydney) extending the M4 and M5.  They are doing this based on a business plan that contains no hard numbers on traffic volumes. Simply to pay the interest on that much money would require half a million vehicles a day to use the new tunnels – more than double the patronage of the current M4 and M5 combined.

From 2019 and 2023, at least, the M5 extension is to end at Sydney Park – as if the surrounding roads were not already at capacity. No modelling on the impact of the additional traffic has been released. There will be widening of the roads immediately next to the park, at the cost of up to 80 houses and a good chunk of Sydney Park, but not the roads they feed.

The government appears to have dismissed public transport out of hand, even though kilometres driven per person are falling, while usage of public transport, cycling and walking are all increasing.

There is no information about where the exhaust stacks will be, or whether they will be filtered.

Sample letters

We encourage you to write to your local MPs, and to one or all of the State Upper House crossbench MPs who hold the balance of power [Click here for contact details].

We don’t want to encourage form letters. Any letter is better than no letter, but a short letter saying what your personal concerns are is is worth more than a long form letter.

To help inspire you in writing your own letter, here are some letters that people have been sending:

Upcoming events

WestConnex Development Authority have upcoming information sessions at:

  • Saturday 22 November, 10am to 1pm
    Unit B2, 238 Princes Highway, St Peters
    St Peters Town Hall (upstairs)
  • Tuesday 25 November, 10am to 12pm
    and 4.30pm to 7.30pm
    39 Unwins Bridge Road, Sydenham

There are a number of rallies planned. This is not an exhaustive list:

  • Stand up for Sydney!: WestConnex, Planning, Towers, Bay Precinct, CSG, etc.
    27th November, 12:00, in the Domain near Parliament house
  • WestConnex Community Day of Action
    A fun day for all opposed to WestCONnex: action groups, residents, concerned friends from all over Sydney to come together. Planned in partnership with our friends at Reclaim The Streets Sydney”
    13th December, 13:00, Simpson park, Campbell street, St Peters

Action Groups

Reference Documents

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3 responses to “Everything you didn’t want to know about WestConnex

  1. I visited the WDA pop-up information shop today. Friendly enough, though the smiles got a bit forced as the questions continued.

    I asked about traffic on local streets. I asked about whether this is supposed to cover its own costs.

    They refused to ‘talk hypotheticals’. At the same time, they refused to share the hard numbers that they do have. They admitted that they do have high level traffic numbers – including the number of cars they expect to use St Peter’s Interchange – but they said that it wouldn’t be helpful to release them. Or words to that effect.

    They appeared not to know which roads are in the low level traffic modelling – couldn’t or wouldn’t confirm even if King St was to be modelled. Didn’t know, they said. In an odd way, I hope they were lying to me, and they really do know but have been told not to say. Because if they really don’t whether or not King St is going to be modelled, then they are truly in a sad way.

    Someone else asked what would happen if the mircomodelling showed that local roads cannot cope with the increase in traffic. They refused to talk about that – hypothetical.

    Will there be clearways on King St. Don’t know. Impact of clearways on King St. Hypothetical.

    They will upgrade local roads. Which ones? Just the ones that are in colour on the map – the ones next to Sydney Park: Campbell St, but only as far as Unwins Bridge Rd, and as far as Gardeners Rd; Euston Road, but only to the roundabout, and Barwon Park Road, as far as the Princess Highway. What will happen when traffic gets to the end of those roads? Can’t say.

    Can they give us any confidence that Stage 3 will happen? That’s the plan. Is there any funds for it? That’s the plan.

    Is the motorway intended to recover the cost of building it? Possibly not. How much not? Can’t say.

    I put it that the motorway would have to carry half a million cars to carry costs. How often, I was asked. Per day, I answered. Just to cover the interest on the debt. That’s hypothetical, I was told.

    They don’t know where the traffic will go. They don’t know how it’s going to be paid for. They don’t know if it will pay for itself. They don’t know where the road is going. It’s all hypothetical. But this road is going ahead I was told. Done deal, good as.

    Except it’s not. They don’t have planning approval. They don’t have budget. There is no way that local streets can carry this traffic.

    They wouldn’t confirm any of this, but it’s possible to use the limited numbers we do have to reverse engineer an upper limit on what their business case can be.

    The existing M4 and M5 motorways each carry about 100,000 cars per day on four lanes.

    With 6 lanes, the new motorways ought to be able to carry about 150,000 cars per day each – so long as you don’t worry about what happens when those cars try to exit the motorway, which clearly they aren’t worrying about. The predicted average toll is $4.50. Given a planned maximum toll of $7.35, that’s plausible. All up, there might be revenue of 2 * 150,000 * $4.50 * 365 = 490 million dollars a year. A lot of money, except that the interest bill alone on 15 billion dollars would be more like 900 million dollars a year.

    This can’t work. Once you look at the constraints this project is operating under, this cannot work, and to pretend that it can is a trip into a magical fairly land where reality does not apply and is not welcome.

    Regards, Ben

  2. Also went to pop up shop lots of evading no answer to questions.
    Will King St become a 24 hr clearway?
    Will King St be destroyed as a strip shopping center as happened to Parramatta Rd?
    No traffic studies resuming houses before the EIS

  3. Very sad we really feel for you………..We are a young family and after completing a big renovation at our home were told by the media about Wesconnex. We gather from our immediate neighbours 88, 90 & 92 that they have been issued with acquisition letter, the location of our home (attached map) is such that it would be affected directly by the construction. We have met with Member for Reid, Craig Laundy, and NSW Parliament member, Mr Charles CASUSCELLI and John Sidoti, and got nowhere. We met with the team from Connexwest twice in 2014 once in February and they assured us that in September 2013 they would be able to give us some definite answers. We met with them again on 1st September and it was a completely different team who knew nothing about our situation. So we had to start all over again. They promised to meet with us on 29th Jan 2015 but just called today and withdrew the meeting saying they cannot tell us if they can acquire us or not. All we have been told is that nothing can be done until a plans are submitted sometime this year. Developers have approached most of the other homes on our street offering them huge prices for their property, except us. We are in no doubt it is because of the location being so close to the construction sites, and the fact that our land that is sandwiched between a lane way and acquired properties……these people have no heart…..they just stuff you around has they have us since the last year….life has been hell.

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