Transport and traffic matters this year were dominated by the WestConnex project, the $15 billion road and tunnel tollway announced by the State Government back in 2012 which is now being constructed. Community opposition has been fierce, especially in Ashfield, Haberfield, St Peters and Newtown where the State Government has been requisitioning properties and where the project and associated traffic volumes are seen as likely to degrade the local communities.
Opposition has focused on the fact that the State Government has still not released a business case for the project and there has been no environmental impact study or traffic modelling undertaken. The project is seen as an outdated solution to the problems of urban transport, with many cities in the world now investing in public transport infrastructure as opposed to motorways to meet their transport needs. Opposition has come from local groups as well as from the City of Sydney. Several rallies and community meetings were held during the year to express opposition, and were attended by members of the management committee.
The latest plans include a road tunnel running north east under Annandale that will dump traffic onto the approaches to Victoria Rd and the Anzac Bridge. This will result in increased traffic volumes in and around Glebe and Forest Lodge. It is possible that pollution ventilation stacks will be built in Glebe and Forest Lodge depending on the exact location of the tunnel. At the time the project was announced the Glebe Society expressed its opposition to WestConnex and urged the State Government to invest the funds in public transport infrastructure instead.