M4 East and Marrickville Tunnel
The M4 East scheme was announced in July 2002. It aroused a lot of community opposition and was cancelled by Carl Scully, the then minister for roads, in early 2005.
Since the government and local member Carmel Tebbutt have consistently denied claims they are planing to extend the M4, but documents and plans keep emerging indictating they are still on the wish list of both the government and the RTA.
The Greens are opposed to any extension of the motorway. We believe that it will encourage car use and bring more traffic into the Inner West. The billions proposed for the motorways should go to improving public transport and the bicycle network.
The secrecy around the government’s plans should end. Residents are entitle to know whether the government is going to build a motorway tunnel under their community. They want to know what route will the motorway take? Where will the exits be located? Where will the polluting stacks be located? Under whose house will it tunnel?
Recently the NSW government put in a bid to get federal infrastructure funds to build an M4 tunnel under Marrickville. The Herald quoted Roads Minister, Michael Daley, saying “We would love to build the M4 extension and if we can secure the help of the Federal Government then we will.”
The Marrickville Tunnel Action Group have tried to FOI documents relating to the M4 East. 185 documents were discovered, but none released under FOI. The Greens then put a motion to Marrickville Council that Council write to the Minister requesting the documents. This passed with The Greens and Independents for, and Labor against. So far, no documents have been released.
Now the Herald reported that the Minister tried to pursuade Greens MP Lee Rhiannon to withdraw an order to produce documents in parliament. Thegovernment should come clean with the public rather than try and impose this scheme by stealth.