More consultation needed on M9

Bernard Bratusa
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Councillors Bernard Bratusa and Prue Car have acknowledged there needs to be more community consultation on the South West Rail Link Extension and Outer Sydney Orbital (M9) projects.

The admission comes after residents of Orchard Hills and Claremont Meadows made it clear to Council they are unhappy with the lack of consultation on the project.

Bruce Downes, who has lived in Orchard Hills for over 17 years and is in the Stop The Orbital and Rail Corridor group (STORC), said they feel like they have been hoodwinked.

“Residents thought the land was protected. That’s what it said in the document [people] read when they moved in,” Mr Downes said.

He said STORC have been continually told it’s the beginning of the process, but are concerned it’s the end.

“Council are not going to turn around after 12 months of planning then decide [where it will go], they’ve likely already decided,” Mr Downes said.

Resident Christopher Rust fears acoustic walls will be built on peoples fences, ruining their property value.

“There’s so much at stake. We invested our life savings when we moved to the area,” he said.

Cr Bratusa agreed with the community’s concerns, and said council needs to advocate on behalf of the community until the community is satisfied.

“It is clear that there needs to be much more consultation, and a much better understanding on council’s role in this,” he said.

“We have to make sure we get this right, they’ve spoken, and they’ve spoken in numbers. It’s people’s homes, peoples lives, peoples future.”

Cr Car said she supports the rail to link the two centres, but it needs to be right.

“We’ve listened and moved motions to show that we don’t support a corridor that destroys residential properties,” she said.

Though not final, the current rail and orbital corridor designs linked Badgerys Creek and St Marys through Orchard Hills and Claremont Meadows.

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