Planning Minister Rob Stokes today announced approval of the M4 East Motorway, as part of the first stage of Westconnex – Australia’s largest road project.
Mr Stokes has attached a number of conditions to the approval in direct response to issues raised by the community, including:
- The provision of at least two dedicated public transport lanes on Parramatta Road;
- Strict air-quality conditions for the tunnels and ventilation facilities that require compulsory reporting and compliance monitoring;
- A requirement for an increase in open space for the local community; and
- Maintaining the character of local areas with more trees and ensuring that more built heritage is saved or adaptively reused.
Heavy vehicles will be taken off streets and into M4 East Motorway tunnels resulting in better air-quality across the project area. To address traffic impacts during construction, the conditions of approval require RMS to prepare traffic management controls to manage impacts on surrounding communities, pedestrians and cyclists.
Mr Stokes said the road will help ease congestion for commuters and lead to improved public transport in the corridor. However, after considering the disruption on local residents and in response to issues raised during consultation, the Minister has imposed strict and unprecedented approval conditions.
There will be a number of opportunities for ongoing community involvement in the design of the project such as community input into the Urban Design and Landscape Plan. In addition, the Air Quality Community Consultative Committee must include members of the community who reside close to the ventilation facilities.
The conditions of approval also require compulsory, ongoing reporting and review of strict compliance standards. RMS will be required to make quarterly compliance reports which must be made public on their website.
Source: News Release, New South Wales Government, 12 February, 2016