Local, Politics

“NSW Government allowed community to be betrayed throughout construction of WestConnex” – CBAG

“The Coffs Bypass Action Group (CBAG) claims that the NSW Government allowed the community to be betrayed throughout the construction of WestConnex.” 

The unexpected “modification” in Rozelle for the final stage of the $16.8 Billion Dollar WestConnex Project is exactly why the Coffs Bypass Action Group has been calling for a Construct only Contract and the exhibition of final Detailed Design for the Coffs Bypass,” said Coffs Bypass Action Group (CBAG) spokesperson, Rod McKelvey. 

Tunnel construction on the WestConnex project in Sydney

This is not a figment of our imagination, this is real and it’s happening in Sydney right now.

It’s yet another example of design changes being made during the construction process with a Design and Construct Contract, and to make things worse, in this case, called “modifications”, years after better design plans had been agreed upon with the community, who approved and expected it to be constructed. 

A Construct Only Contract is the only way to go with the Coffs Harbour Bypass, when there are so many sensitive environmental and important potential Aboriginal Heritage impacts, let alone the noise impacts upon the residents that will be directly affected by the Bypass. 

“CBAG is urging everybody who intends making a submission to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to please demand a “Construct only Contract” and the exhibition of a “Detailed Design” which is the norm, when exhibiting an EIS. Otherwise we can’t be sure of the final outcome,” Rod said. 

Rod McKelvey

“This is the only way the community can have confidence in the detail of the design before calling a Construct Only Contract tender. This won’t delay the project, because the Detailed Design needs to be done anyway. It should be managed by RMS and be held accountable to the Government and the community, rather than managed by a Design & Construct Contract procurement process run by a major contractor focussed upon profits and accountable to shareholders,” he said. 

It’s great to see the RMS has listened to the community with the release of the “Refined Concept Design”, and that the State and Federal Governments have put the people of Coffs Harbour first when it comes to this bypass. 

It’s the hard work by a lot of people who got this result, the Coffs Community, Coffs City Council, Coffs Harbour & District Local Aboriginal Land Council, and of course, our two new MPs, Gurmesh Singh and Patrick Conaghan. 

Though we appear to be on track, we will not be disbanding this group until we have an absolute guarantee of the design – this is not the time to relax. 

The EIS is on Exhibition until October 27 

We have our usual CBAG General Meeting on Thursday 10 October at the Cavanbah Centre at 6.30pm. Gurmesh Singh MP is intending to attend. 

Press Release from CBAG – Wednesday 25 September 2019.

For those that would like further detail, head to the CBAG website at coffsbypassactiongroup.com 

https://www.9news.com.au/national/westconnex-m4-m5-motorway-overpass-link-annandale- residents-anger/079b6af0-de47-4674-a1e6-2d3e46ac2041

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