Westconnex to spoil Wollongong roads

The Westconnex tunnel project plans to bring all its excavated material to Port Kembla. The spoil from this controversial tunnel is expected to be produced at up to 9,000 tonnes of rock per day.

Shifting this rock could cause a lot of damage to our area. Do we want this to happen? Greens NSW Environment, Roads and Freight Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, says, “The Illawarra shouldn’t be the dumping ground, whether by train or by truck, for the problems being created by the WestConnex."

 MEDIA RELEASE: Westconnex to Spoil Wollongong Roads

Friday September 1, 2017

The Westconnex tunnel project plans to bring all its excavated material to Port Kembla. The spoil from this controversial tunnel is expected to be produced at up to 9,000 tonnes of rock per day.

Shifting this rock could cause a lot of damage to our area. Do we want this to happen?

The Westconnex proposal lists the impacts - noise pollution, traffic congestion, and reduction in air quality from diesel and dust, but says that these would be ‘acceptable’. Yet the proposed stockpile site is only 450 metres from residences in Port Kembla, and moving the spoil would require multiple lane queueing, and additional signalling infrastructure.

Jamie Dixon, Greens candidate for Ward 3, says, “This proposal will add an extra 255 truck movements per day onto our local roads. The project is touting itself as keeping trucks off Mt Ousley, but it’s putting them onto King Street, and into Dapto, Avondale, Thirroul, and Stanwell Park.

“The Greens will urge Wollongong Council to take a stand against yet another state government project, which shifts its infrastructure costs onto local government. We want to see revitalisation and job creation in Port Kembla, but we want to see jobs for the long-term, jobs that will not cause environmental damage.

“The plan does not tell us where this enormous amount of rock will be dumped, or of the profound effects this could have on our region’s flood plain and on storm water management. Our coastline, our waterways, and Lake Illawarra are already suffering under increased climate instability and inadequately regulated development, and using them as Sydney’s sandbox will only put them at further risk.”

Greens NSW Environment, Roads and Freight Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, said: “It is quite clear that this whole project is about offloading thousands of tonnes of spoil from WestConnex onto the people of the Illawarra. The Greens strongly support freight on rail but it is clear that the railway line between Wollongong and Sydney is bursting at the seams and the NSW Government is doing nothing about it. Adding an extra 3, three thousand tonne capacity freight trains to compete with passenger services will only exacerbate the problem.

“The Illawarra shouldn’t be the dumping ground, whether by train or by truck, for the problems being created by the WestConnex” she concluded.

More information:

Mithra Cox: 0425 351 844

Jamie Dixon: 0403 402 114

E: Wollongong@nsw.greens.org.au

W: www.illawarragreens.org.au

Illawarra Greens | wollongong@nsw.greens.org.au | www.illawarragreens.org.au