Since the motorway was announced, the Greens in parliament have worked hard to ensure there is transparency and accountability around the planning and development of WestConnex.
In March 2014, Greens NSW spokesperson for Roads Dr Mehreen Faruqi successfully moved an ‘order for papers’ motion in the NSW Upper House that forced the government to release thousands of documents relating to the WestConnex Business Case.
The released documents reveal substantial doubts and contradictions within the government and its consultants regarding the utility of the motorway, particularly in relation to traffic forecasting. The papers also provided evidence of then-Premier Barry O’Farrell’s plans for the mass outsourcing of public sector work.
However, the government claimed privilege over hundreds of the documents which were only released after a successful challenge to the claim by Dr Faruqi. The papers then showed doubts about the viability of the “revitalisation” of Parramatta Road – a key part of the government’s plan.
Especially in light of th the recent release of the Business Case for the deeply flawed East West Link toll road, we need to continue to keep up the pressure on the NSW government to come clean about WestConnex.
Bringing on an inquiry
Throughout 2014, the Greens also had a motion on the NSW Upper House notice paper that would have established an inquiry into the WestConnex motorway.
However, in June 2014 a Shooters & Fishers MP Robert Borsak admitted he had promised the government to vote against the inquiry, therefore defeating any chance of it happening in the current parliament, in exchange for the saving of Ashfield Park from the motorway.
There is still possibility for an inquiry in the new parliament.
Raising parliamentary debate
In Budget Estimates, throughout the year in Question Time, and through adjournment speeches, the Greens have repeatedly questioned the government’s plans for WestConnex.
We have ensured that the deep community concerns about the toll road are on the public record.