Government sheds light on WestConnex smoke stack locations

Government sheds light on WestConnex smoke stack locations

THE State Government has shed light on the locations of four unfiltered smoke stacks in Rozelle that would pump exhaust from vehicles travelling along the proposed Western Harbour Tunnel.

Documents released by Roads and Maritime Services today revealed three ventilation stacks will be located within the Rozelle Rail Yards, under plans for the third stage of WestConnex — the M4-M5 link.

The smoke stacks would stand 35 metres tall, 12 metres higher than original proposals.

The location for a fourth smoke stack near the Iron Cove Bridge has meanwhile been narrowed down to two sites — Springside St or a designated traffic island in the middle of Victoria Rd.

An artist’s impression of a proposed ventilation stack on Victoria Rd at Rozelle.

The documents stated the Victoria Rd option would “increase the distance of the ventilation outlet from residences and provide a more optimal urban design solution”.

The potential health impacts of the ventilation facilities were a primary concern in the 13,000 submissions lodged to the State Government on the plans.

Peter Hehir, a member of Rozelle Against WestConnex, feared the proposal would “pump fumes from St Peters to Cammeray directly above homes” and “turn Rozelle into Sydney’s exhaust pipe”.

Modelling released today revealed there would be “increased pollution concentrations” on Victoria Rd and Anzac Bridge as aresult of additional traffic in the area.

Children at Rozelle Public School wore dust masks as part of a protest last year against a ventilation stack near their school.

Pollutant concentrations were also predicted to rise along Canal Rd, which would be used to access the St Peters interchange.

Roads and Maritime Services said filtration of the smoke stacks “did not represent a feasible and reasonable mitigation measure” due to “negligible impact on existing ambient pollutant concentrations”.

The department said the ventilation systems would be automatically controlled using real-time traffic data.

The State Government will finalise the exact location of the ventilation facilities within the Rozelle Rail Yards during the detailed design stages of the project.

It comes after leaked documents revealed possible sites included a strip of industrial businesses next to the rail yards, which have been marked by RMS for compulsory acquisition.

The proposed location for the truck marshalling area and car parking site.

One of the site’s owners, John Sheehan, is challenging the acquisition in the NSW Supreme Court after rejecting the $13 million compensation offer. Further hearings are scheduled this month.

The State Government said the Rozelle Rail Yards would be transformed into green space as part of the M4-M5 link, partly to offset the loss of parkland at nearby sites including Buruwan Park.

RMS said if the M4-M5 Link does not proceed, the yards would likely be developed into mixed use housing, in line with The Bays Precinct proposal.

A total of 29 smoke stacks will be built as part of the WestConnex project in suburbs including Haberfield, Kingsgrove, Arncliffeand Rockdale.

A location of the proposed bioretention facility at King George Park, next to the Iron Cove Bridge.

Documents released today also revealed the State Government would build an additional construction site on land owned by the Port Authority east of the White Bay Power Station for use as a truck marshalling area and car parking for construction workers.

A bioretention facility will meanwhile be relocated from Manning St to a northern section of King George Park, Rozelle.

The facility — to be located where the Bay Run connects to the Iron Cove Bridge — would be used to filter “low flow run-off events” from construction works along Victoria Rd.

The full list of documents, located in the Response to Submissions tab, can be viewed here.