Author Archives: Ben Aveling

Back in the Alex Town Hall – Wednesday

We are back in Alexandria Town Hall for this month’s meeting, which is Wednesday, the 13th, at the usual time of 7PM.

On the agenda:

  • City of Sydney – proposal for the Green Square to Ashmore Connector
  • Alexandria to Moore Park – update
  • The M4/M5 Environmental Impact Study Debacle – where to from here?
  • Land & Environment Court hearing for the 163-173 McEvoy St development
  • Have Your Say on ARAG’s priorities for 2018
Please join us to celebrate the end of a busy year.

Reminder again: we are back in Alexandria Town Hall and the meeting is on Wednesday 13 December.

10,000 objections to the M4/M5

At 11.30am today, the Coalition Against WestConnex hand delivered more than 10,000 written submissions on the M4-M5 Link EIS to the Dept of Planning.

ARAG has hand delivered a (smaller) number of submissions.

ARAG’s own submission has been lodged. A copy is available WestConnex Stage 3 EIS – ARAG Objection 20171016.

If you haven’t lodged a submission yet, today is the last day to do so.

We believe that online submissions will be accepted until midnight, either at Major Projects, or via WestConnex Action Group.

How to object to the M4 M5 Link

There are several ways to make a submission on the M4 M5 Link.

WestConnex Action Group have set up an set up a online page which will send submissions directly to the Planning Department.

You make a submission online at:

Or you can send a snailmail to:

 Attention Director
 Infrastructure Projects, Planning Services
 Department of Planning and Environment
 Application number SSI 7485
 GPO Box 39 Sydney NSW 2001

Each submission must contain your full name and address.

If you have donated $1,000 or more in the past financial year to a political party, elected member, group or candidate, you must report it. You can get more information about this here.

Make sure you state whether you oppose or support the project. If you do not, your submission will only be counted as a comment.

Your Submission

Your submission does not need to be long or complex. When they count the submissions, each submission counts as one submission, however long and detailed it is or isn’t. Form letters are not worth as much as something in your own words, however brief.

Your opinions, reasons for them and your suggestions are the most important parts of your submission. As much as possible, state how your concerns might be addressed. Where possible, provide references to hard data, such as scientific reports. Use photographs, maps or sketches when appropriate. As best you can, make clear which section or chapter of the EIS your comments apply to.

Some things you might want to include in your submission could be:

  • The EIS shows that the M4-M5 link fails to improve the congestion which the areas surrounding the St Peters Interchange already experiences.
  • Average speed with the M4-M5 Link is forecast to be no better than without the M4-M5 Link
  • The number of vehicles that are ‘unreleased’ (unable to get onto the road) will be increased by the project – meaning that the project will add to the acute transport problems faced by this area.
  • The EIS states: ‘the network is forecast not to be able to accommodate the forecast traffic demand’.
  • The traffic in the St Peters network is going to be so bad that it could not be properly modelled.
  • This means that the modelling in the EIS is not based on the conditions that will result if the project is approved as planned, and cannot be relied upon.
  • The EIS does not provide evidence that the alternatives to WestConnex have been properly considered: no comprehensive analysis is supported.
  • Each alternative to WestConnex is dismissed on the grounds that, alone, it will not work. But the EIS does not consider whether a combination of some or all of the alternatives would be better value than WestConnex.
  • The EIS shows that the M4-M5 link project alone cannot meet the project objectives, and may not even advance the project objectives.
  • Even with the project, the EIS concedes the need for ‘demand management’, ‘capacity constraints’, and local road upgrades (which are discussed in the EIS but unfunded).
  • The benefits of the project are outweighed by the cost of the project.
  • The benefits of the project are outweighed by harmful effects of the project, including (but not limited to):
    • increased air pollution, which medical research shows is a serious health risk to the entire metropolitan population
    • a reduction in visual amenity and the quality of life
    • the destruction of heritage
    • the loss of homes and businesses in the local area
  • The St Peters Interchange is a crucial component of the entire WestConnex project. If it does not work, the M4-M5 link will not work, and the EIS indicates that the M4-M5 Link will not work.
  • The Premier having said that the Airport Gateway is not part of WestConnex, the EIS cannot and should not rely on the possibility that the Airport Gateway, might address the problems facing the M4 M5 Link, until there is a detailed explanation of where the Airport Gateway will go and how it will be built, and reasonable grounds to believe that it will be built.

Agenda for October Meeting

The agenda for this month’s meeting is:

  • Council plans to ease & control traffic in local streets:
    Belmont, Lawrence, and Euston Lanes
  • the M4/M5 Link Environmental Impact Statement:
    reasons for Concern, how to object (Don’t delay, objections are due by Monday)

Hope to see you there:

7PM, Thursday 12 October
Cliff Noble Community Centre
24 Suttor St, corner of Renwick St

WestConnex Stage 3 Forum

Thanks to all those who came along to the Friends of Erskineville/BPN Forum tonight.

Video available here:

My speaking notes are here. Slides to match are here. And will be repeated at our monthly meeting this Thursday (7PM, Cliff Noble Centre).

If you want to object (and you should), go here:


This is kind of important. (Monthly meeting, and more)

Before we tell you the agenda for the next meeting, discover how WestConnex will affect you.

Wherever you live in NSW, checkout Continue reading

Agenda for August Meeting

The August meeting will be:

Thursday the 10th, 7 PM
Cliff Noble Community Center,
corner of Suttor St and Renwick St.

On the Agenda:

  • the Potential Sale of the Gerard Street Council Depot
  • the Australian Technology Park – our heritage and history at risk
  • some relief for Euston Road Residents
  • an update on the Alexandria Hotel
  • our AGM

Hope to see you there.

PS: Convenors’ Annual Report here