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M5 East Press Release

http://www.arag.org.au info@arag.org.au
Media Release – 01 Deceember 2015

WestCONnex M5 Interchange is a Crown of Thorns

Residents in Alexandria were horrified to see the plans for the M5 and the St Peters Interchange with its ‘Crown of Thorns’ concrete freeway arching over a ‘brand new park’ which given its close proximity to an unfiltered, filthy exhaust stack, doesn’t make it somewhere anyone will want to be.

Ben Aveling, Co-Convenor of the Alexandria Residents Action Group is dismayed at the spin and misinformation contained in the latest information release.
He said “it just beggars belief that anyone thinks that this is a good result for the people using the M5, let alone the people at the end of the road who will be left to deal with the massive increase in traffic.

There is no mention of the $26 daily tolls that people will have to pay, and no mention of reduced travel times over the whole journey. It’s just smoke stacks and mirrors.”

A closer inspection of the map reveals some other failings of the proposal:
• All traffic that needs to go into the city will need to find its way through McEvoy Streets, Mitchell Road and King Street, and this situation won’t improve if the M5 to M4 tunnel (which is unfunded) ever gets built. The only way into the city is via those three streets.
• 100,000 more cars a day are supposed to be using the M5 extension. This isn’t enough to make the toll road pay, but where are all the cars going to go? Anyone who has driven down those already crowded roads knows more traffic means slower travel times and more congestion.
• One of the off-ramps joins Gardeners Road which is already at capacity. Given that Gardeners Road goes from three lanes down to one after Botany Road, we are now stack filling an existing car park.

Even more laughable are the claims made in the four page brochure on the ‘New M5 – St Peters interchange’:
• ‘Returning local streets to local residents by removing through traffic and fixing local bottlenecks’. Unless WestCONnex has found a way to make 100,000+ cars a day evaporate, there is no evidence that WestCONnex has removed traffic – rather it has massively increased it, and created nightmare bottlenecks
• ‘Up to 49% reduction in travel time’ but if you read the small print, this only applies up to the King Georges Road interchange, so bad luck if you are using WestCONnex to get into the city!

“WestCONnex is a bad idea for Sydney. It puts roads ahead of public transport.

It comes at the cost of spending on schools, hospitals and other infrastructure and it creates more problems than it solves.” Ben Aveling said.

“We know it’s not a good deal. The Auditor General’s review of the Business Case back in December 2014 was damning. The Government won’t release the Business Case and that speaks volumes.”

We call on the government to halt all work on the M4 and M5, stop letting tenders and acquiring homes and businesses and release the business case.

Nothing less is satisfactory.”

For more information contact: Ben Aveling, Alexandria Residents Action Group 0407 228 240

The “Crown of Thorns” Interchange, just south of Sydney Park

Interchange

The EIS for the M5 East, thousands of pages of spin, numbers, graphs and diagrams, much of which has no basis in fact, now has been released – just in time for Christmas – with limited time for the public to read, assess, analyse and submit their comments to the government.

It is very cynical of the government to release such important documents over the Christmas holiday period.

Residents can get more information by visiting m5eis.org where community members from across Sydney will be posting their analyses and draft submissions for you to assess in submitting your objections to this wasteful road project. Visit the site regularly, as information will be upgraded regularly.

Transport and Traffic Forum, Wednesday the 14th

The next ARAG meeting will a be forum on Transport and Traffic.

This will be an opportunity to hear from, and ask questions of representatives from:

  • Transport for NSW
  • City of Sydney
  • EcoTransit

The forum will be at:
7pm, Wednesday 14th October
Alexandria Town Hall, Garden St

Hope to see you there

Ashmore Estate Development – ARAG’s Talking Points for Objections to the DA

ARAG has prepared a list of items that residents might like to consider when preparing their objection to the Ashmore Estate development proposal.

Briefly, the proposal is for 1,400 – 1,600 units and an increase in population of around 6,300. That effectively DOUBLES the population of BOTH Alexandria and Erskineville.

Download this PDF ARAG Ashmore Estate Objection Template to assess the issues.

Download this version in WORD format: ARAG Ashmore Estate Objection Template.

Alex Hotel update

The Alexandria Hotel DA has been to the Land and Environment Court, for the initial hearing. The court has ordered a “Conciliation Conference“, to be held on the 30th of September, starting at 9:30am, at the Alexandria Hotel.

If agreement is not reached, the matter will go back to the Land and Environment Court – at a to be decided date.

Anyone wanting to know more is encouraged to come to the next ARAG meeting, which will be at 7pm on Wednesday the 9th of September, when this will be on the agenda – full agenda to follow.

Council will be holding an information session at 5pm on the 21st of September, at the Alexandria Town Hall.  Anyone thinking of attending the information session and/or the conciliation conference should RSVP to efredericks@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

ARAG Meeting this Wednesday: Ashmore Estate, it’s going to be big

Ashmore Estate is coming. It’s going to be about 6,000 people in all.

The potential impact on our community is massive.

There’s been a DA lodged for the next, and largest, part of the
Ashmore Estate development.

For an update, come along to this month’s ARAG meeting:

  • 7:00pm Wednesday the 12th of August, at
  • Alexandria Town Hall, 73 Garden St.

Local MPs, councillors, planners and community speakers will be there.

Ashmore Estate community drop-in sessions 4/8, 8/8

The Ashmore Estate developers are holding two ‘drop in’ sessions at Alexandria Town Hall:

  • 5pm – 7pm, Tuesday 4th AugustAshmoreStage1
  • 10am – 12pm, Saturday 8th August

You’re free to drop in and ask any questions you may have. You don’t need to be there for the whole time.

The sessions are happening now because the developers have lodged the the ‘Stage 1’ Development Application. The Stage 1 DA seeks approval for the overall size, type and general layout. A more detailed Stage 2 Application will be lodged later, dealing with actual building designs, public domain and final design of McPherson Park.

The part of Ashmore covered by this DA is planned to have 9 buildings of up to 9 stories, possibly providing somewhere between 1,477 and 1,630 apartments. Depending on the number of apartments, there might be between 1,186 and 1,293 car parks on site.

This will be the largest single part of the Ashmore Estate. Glo and Motto apartment Buildings are already complete with 252 apartments. The remainder of the Estate will will be developed separately. It will provide perhaps another 1,150 units, making a total of about 3,000 dwellings.

The total increase in population will be somewhere around 6,600 people.

The Traffic and Transport Assessment estimates that this will require “one additional train stopping each hour” and 5 buses. (At this stage there are no planned improvements to public transport, and the government is in fact considering reducing the number of trains that stop at Erskineville.)

The report also proposes making use of the “Road capacity available on Mitchell Road”. (I think this means clearways.) The report notes that WestConnex is coming, but does not discuss its impact on Mitchell Road, except to say that WestConnex “has the potential to alter the main road traffic circulation”.

All DA documents are available here. Submissions are open until the 17th of August. (This may be extended.)

To learn more, come to the next ARAG meeting:

  • 7:00pm Wednesday the 12th of August,
  • at Alexandria Town Hall, 73 Garden St.

Motions passed at July meeting

At the July meeting, the following motions passed:

That the Alexandria Residents’ Action Group opposes the WestConnex project and supports the call for:
(i) The release of the full business case;
(ii) A halt to the tender process for the new M5 and M4 East; and
(iii) A parliamentary inquiry into WestConnex

ARAG members call on the City of Sydney to pursue an Interim Heritage Order for the Alexandria Hotel as a matter of urgency.

Alexandria Hotel update

There are two new developments.

Because council took longer than 40 days to approve/reject their DA, the developer has the right to not wait and see if council will approve the application – they can instead go to the Land and Environment Court. And they have done so. It’s not clear how this will play out. The Court can overrule Council, but given that the DA appears clearly non-compliant in several areas, most obviously height, it’s not clear what will happen.

AND, an Interim Heritage Order has been issued: http://www.gazette.legislation.nsw.gov.au/so/download.w3p?id=Gazette_2015_2015-63.pdf

This doesn’t guarantee heritage protection for the Pub, but it does allow up to six months for a proper assessment of heritage to take place, which on the face of it, would seem likely to mean that heritage protection is now a real possibility.

Objection to Forced Council Amalgamations

The June 2015 meeting of the Alexandria Residents’ Action Group unanimously passed a motion in support of the City of Sydney in its fight against forced local council amalgamations that are being proposed by the NSW State Government.

The motion was carried unanimously.

A copy of our submission to IPART ‘Fit for the Future’ can be found here.

An extra 7 days to #SaveTheAlex

The City of Sydney has extended the exhibition period for the Alexandria Hotel until the 21st of July. If you haven’t lodged an objection yet, it’s not too late.

Ron Hoenig (the Labor member for Heffron) has prepared a sample objection you might like to use (for inspiration). He has also released a press release calling on the Minister for Heritage to act, and he also has an online petition you might want to sign.