PROPOSED BEACHES LINK UNDER NORTHBRIDGE
Firstly, thank you to those that recently became members of the Northbridge Progress Association (NPA). Your membership ensures the future of our organisation of which we are custodians and honours the proud 100+ years of work for the association.
We would also like to thank those that attended and provided feedback at the Special Meeting of the NPA on the 24th February (approximately 100 residents) in response to the Environmental Impact Statement. We consulted with our community extensively during this period and highlighted concerns in our submission particularly relating to;
- Existing contaminated landfill
- Bushland preservation
- Construction traffic
- Noise and vibrations
- Air and water quality
- Access and amenity
- Property impacts
Given we are wanting to address concerns we were advised by Transport of NSW to oppose the project and submit our reasons, which we have done. Within our submission we have supported the independent submissions made by Northbridge Sailing Club and 1st Northbridge Sea Scouts whilst representing Northbridge Amateur Swimming Club in a similar vein. We worked closely with Willoughby City Council on their submission and supported the approach of the Federation of Willoughby (a group which includes all the progress associations of Willoughby) to ensure Northbridge was represented in the broader Willoughby context
Our submission was lodged with The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) and Transport for NSW about the Beaches Link and Gore Hill Freeway Connections and can be viewed following. We have received confirmation of receipt and sent copies of our submission to our elected representatives at local and state levels.
As a result of our submission the NPA was invited to meet with the DPIE. Our objective was to;
- Provide the DPIE with an overview of the NPA’s role in the local community
- Provide a summary of Northbridge residents key issues/concerns with the proposed Beaches Link (as summarised in the NPA Beaches Link submission)
- Build direct relationship with the DPIE team as part of NPA – Beaches Link government engagement strategy (that includes Transport for NSW and Willoughby Council)
We have been invited to meet again after we receive a response to our submission which is expected in the third quarter of this year. In the meantime we will respond to the Upper House preliminary committee scrutinising public works of the NSW Government currently examining the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link project and its impact on the community and environment. Our response will be focused on what our expectation is from any government in power – transparency, engagement, accountability and security.
A major concern we are witnessing with WestConnex is those impacted with damages to property are in legal entanglement with government and no financial outcomes have been settled. This is not satisfactory nor something we will settle for, for our community. We will continue to work with government to mitigate high risks that are associated with major developments and seek contingency budgeting for any negative repercussions. We want financial commitments that protect our residents and environment against damages with a plan and financing to rectify issues immediately should they arise.
On a brighter note, our team worked incredibly hard to bring this submission together in a short time frame, thank you all for your amazing effort and investment of time for the benefit of our community. We would also like to extend our thanks to Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney and Clr Denis Fernandez who were instrumental in Councils approach.
The silver lining in these situations is the bringing together of our community. Our strength is in unity so will be providing updates at all future meetings to ensure we are on the same page and working together.
Following are our submissions to Transport of NSW and the Parliamentary Inquiry. We are now awaiting a response from Transport of NSW which we expect in the latter half of this year (around October).