The Westconnex project, including the M4 tunnel will have huge impact on Sydney and its citizens. You wouldn’t know this however if you relied on the EIS report. Much of the EIS is complicated technical data that can be hard to understand. By contrast, many will feel able to comment on the Social and Economic impacts report. You might know about one of the many aged care homes or schools in the project area that expressed concern about the project from the start; or you might be interested in how Westconnex evaluates the fear of being forced out of their homes on vulnerable citizens; or how people who have been given only 9 months to sell and find another home are faring? If you don’t find the answers in the EIS summary, don’t be shocked but do let us know how you feel about it.
There is still a lot of reading so the People’s EIS has provided a summary of the Chapter in the main report and two large appendices.We’ve included some references back to the reports which tend to be repetitive and regurgitate demographic and other official data from government reports.
Everyone should have an opinion on this one – so how do you rate this social impact study? You’ll note that there are a lot of references to community consultation but somehow the consultant missed the fact that thousands of residents are completely opposed the tunnel and the entire Westconnex not just because of the impact on their lives but because like some independent experts, they have major problems with AECOM’s traffic data. The report certainly doesn’t capture the feeling of these residents including 94 year old Ray Harrison, his family and neighbours who protested against the Westconnex drilling this week. This photo was taken right beside one of the heritage houses slated for demolition. You might have expected that development work would cease while the EIS is considered – but not in the (dys)Utopian world of NSW planning.