Frequently Asked Questions
Can the remaining Stages of WestConnex be stopped?
Absolutely! The $18,000,000,000 East West Link in Melbourne was defeated and a Government toppled by people power in late 2014 using the only non-violent course of action open to them – civil disobedience. The doco Tunnel Vision (2016) makes this really clear:https://www.docplay.com/shows/tunnel-vision
Won’t WestConnex make Sydney’s traffic situation better?
No! It will actually make it worse! WestCONnex admits this in their business case study. Due to induced demand, the traffic situation in Newtown, St Peters, Camperdown, Broadway, White Bay, the City West Link, Anzac Bridge and the Iron Cove Bridge will be bumper to bumper for much longer in both morning and evening peak hours. Rat running is inevitable.
Won’t the residents of the West will be better off?
Again no… The savings in road-journey times are minimal, as little as five minutes in some cases. The tolls imposed will cripple some families in western Sydney. A breadwinner in Parramatta who travels to the CBD by car will have to earn another $9,000 p.a. just to pay the $5,500 in tolls! Imagine the farcical situation of having to get another job just to earn enough money to travel to your day job. Forcing this demographic to carry the burden of the toll road is simply obscene.
But the Government must know what it’s doing, surely!
You’d like to think so but the facts suggest otherwise. Most if not all of the recognised experts in Sydney’s transport and traffic management agree that WestConnex isn’t the solution, it’s a major part of the problem! Professor Peter Newman (Curtin University), Dr Michelle Zeibots (UTS Institute of Sustainable Studies), Mat Hounsell (Eco Transit) and Chris Standen (University of Sydney) all agree it’s an unmitigated, unnatural disaster! (See the Andrew Chuter article in RAW’s 2017 newspaper Bottleneck! http://rozelleagainstwestconnex.org/bottleneck-out-now-60000-copies-across-the-inner-west/)
Cities across the world are tearing down their inner-city motorways in ever increasing numbers because they’ve all proven to be counterproductive.
So what’s the answer to Sydney’s traffic chaos?
Simple. The wasted $16,800,000,000 (or the more accurate $45,000,000,000 figure arrived at by the City of Sydney), should have been spent on public and active transport. Upgrade existing systems, extend services to more locations and make them more frequent, utilise redundant rail networks, upgrade the obsolete rail signalling system, better utilisation of freight rail, increase speeds on the rail networks through long overdue track maintenance.
If public transport is accessible, reliable, efficient and cost-effective most people will use it.
Build it and they will come!
So is this just a waste of taxpayer’s money?
WestConnex is a shocking waste of public money! In February 2017 the Federal Auditor-General delivered a damning report re WestConnex’s probity and financial underpinning.
The principal contractor Leightons (now CIMIC – the name changed presumably to avoid the stench of corruption with their overseas tendering) and AECOM, the firm supplying the figures examined by the Australian National Audit Office, have both been associated with some monumental tunnel failures (the Cross City Tunnel here in Sydney twice and the Clem Jones in Brisbane are classic examples).
So who are the winners?
The multinational toll companies and the construction companies are the only winners.
When it fails – and fail it will – the NSW Government will be forced to step in and pick up the pieces, wasting even more taxpayer’s money. This is exactly what happened with the Sydney Harbour Tunnel.
In the 1st 16 years of its operation the NSW Government paid out over $1,000,000,000 to the operators of the tunnel in “lost revenue”! Why? Because the projected volume of traffic stated in the Business Case never materialised!! So it’s vital that the remaining WCX stages are never built.
And the losers?
Us. All of us. All of the residents of Sydney. Our children and our children’s children are the losers… The unfiltered exhaust stacks are lethal and the Government is very well aware of this.
This press release from NSW Premier Perrottet issued on the 19th of January 2022, confirms that the Western Harbour Tunnel – which is now under construction – “will take another 20% of the current Sydney Harbour Tunnel traffic away”, significantly increasing the “shortfall” and the NSW taxpayer payout to the operators.
So even people without a car will continue to pay the multinational owners this ever increasing “lost revenue”! For how long? Who knows? Just like the Business Case for WCX and the Western Harbour Tunnel, it’s commercial in confidence…
How can I help?
If you support our aims and would like to see the exhaust stacks filtered and the remaining stages stopped, then please join RAW’s current 843 members. It doesn’t matter where you live and it’s free. If you have the time then get involved.
If not, please donate whatever you can. Deposits can be made directly into RAW’s Sydney Mutual Bank account… BSB 611001, A/C 154772 and keep this website afloat.
RAW convenor Peter Hehir being arrested at a NVDA in Burt Street Rozelle in 2016.
You can also undertake NVDA (Non-Violent Direct Action) training and take on a defined NVDA support role.
Please inform yourself by seeking out the WestCONnex articles by RAW convenor Peter Hehir. These can be found in City Hub. https://cityhubsydney.com.au/tag/peter-hehir/ .
And never forget that in the Federal elections in 2022, you have the right to choose those who govern you.
Please remember before you mark your ballot paper that both major parties. Liberal and Labor, support WestCONnex and their unfiltered exhaust stacks!!!
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