WestConnex opponents urged to attend meeting

Opponents of the WestConnex project are being urged to attend a meeting at Kingsgrove RSL on Thursday.

The Beverly Hills-Kingsgrove WestCONnex Action Group says the project’s community information session should be attended despite an expectation of ‘‘more appalling treatment’’.

Action group spokeswoman Kathryn Calman said residents in south-west Sydney should attend these  sessions to make sure the WestConnex Delivery Authority was aware of their strong opposition to the project, and to keep demanding answers to questions if they were not answered.

‘‘We’ve spent the last nine months asking for basic and inexpensive changes to be made to WestConnex to try and make the huge increases in noise, air pollution and traffic congestion it will bring to our community slightly more bearable,’’ Ms Calman said.

‘‘Yet instead of genuinely consulting with our community, the WDA has treated us with contempt.

‘‘What’s more, the WDA has done everything it can to keep the veil of secrecy firmly drawn over WestConnex – including its attempt to paint the Kingsgrove portal and poison stack location as an ‘industrial area’, when in reality it’s part of a thriving community full of homes, workplaces, schools, childcare and residential aged care centres, and junior sporting fields.’’

Ms Calman said these latest ‘‘community information sessions’’ were simply the authority’s latest attempt to keep up the pretence of being open and transparent, while doing everything it could to hide the true nature of WestConnex from the public.

‘‘These sessions are being held during the afternoon and early evening on a Thursday when most people will be at work,’’ she said.

‘‘Many local residents haven’t received any notice of them from the WDA.

‘‘It’s also a disgrace that they’re being held at an RSL club, where residents must present ID and be comfortable in a venue that allows drinking and gambling before they’re allowed to ask questions.

‘‘It’s the same contemptuous approach the WDA has taken to ‘consultation’ across the 33km WestConnex corridor, and there’s no way it should satisfy the director-general’s requirements for genuine community consultation within the environmental impact statement process.’’

Ms Calman said residents had a right to transparency and accountability from the Baird government before their communities were sentenced to permanent gridlock and pollution –and billions of taxpayer dollars were wasted on this sham toll road.

■ WestConnex community information sessions: 2pm-4pm, 5pm-7pm, Kingsgrove RSL.

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