Stop the NSW Gov't wasting $15bn on more Toxic City Toll Roads

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Sydney doesn’t need another costly toll road project. Stop the construction of the Western Harbour Tunnel

This petition started with a group of local residents on the North Shore opposed to the construction of the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link. From young people to grandparents, our local community is against this wasteful road project that has a high community and environmental costs. We are calling on the NSW government to stop the tunnels and review alternative public transport options which have the potential to provide a far greater benefit for NSW.

Dear Prime Minister and Premier/Ministers of the NSW Parliament,

The Government is currently making decisions about which projects to invest in to stimulate our economy. The Western Harbour and Beaches Link toll road projects sink billions of dollars into some of the most affluent areas of the State and will lock our city further into unaffordable tolls and toxic, inefficient infrastructure. We need to re-consider this $15 Billion toll road project because:

1) An alternative public transport plan has not been considered. Investing in the NSW public transport industry brings the opportunity to create more local jobs where they are needed the most. Tunnel building needs offshore expertise, meaning offshore jobs.

2) Our farmers, fire affected and low income communities desperately need the investment and jobs. 

3) The EIS confirmed that the tunnels will require over 1 MILLION Litres of water PER DAY (majority potable) to build...we cannot afford this when our farmers and habitats continue to be severely impacted by drought.

4) The tunnel projects will lock us into ever increasing car reliance and half a century of tolls whether we use them or not (ie via Northbound crossing tolls). The projects do not support the Greater Sydney Commissions plan for three "cities" which would diversify job generation across Sydney including Western Sydney. And with population growth expected to be far less than modelled, very high tolls will add unreasonable financial pressure to truckies, tradies and working families and put toll revenues at unacceptable risk.

5) The route from Rozelle to Balgowlah follows the largest schools precinct in Australia. The EIS confirmed that thousands of children will suffer years of very serious construction impacts and a lifetime of unacceptable pollution levels due to adding more unfiltered stacks and increasing local traffic. You have told us that kids lungs will already have to cope with more bushfire smoke events in the future ...don't make our air quality even worse by encouraging more traffic through residential areas already at or above National Limits! The health costs of the future will outweigh any benefit.

6) The project will require a high level of mitigation due to the need to protect Sydney Harbour, residents along the Warringah Freeway and Middle Harbour from known contaminants such as lead and heavy metals. The route puts workers and residents at risk. The high cost to mitigate could and should be better spent on public transport which if re-routed would achieve far higher congestion benefits at less risk.

7) COVID-19 has shown us that our parks and open spaces are essential for our wellbeing - this project destroys hundreds of trees and removes hectares of green space in areas that are already overcrowded.

We recognise the need to stimulate the economy. COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to pause and carve out a better future. We need positive projects that bring hope to those who have suffered the most, especially our children and our regions.

Instead of sinking billions of dollars into some of the most affluent areas of the state, we should bolster our resilience by investing in clean transport options which grow our manufacturing and supply chains. Cancel these wasteful toll road projects and direct investment toward projects which will benefit everyone in NSW.