Health concerns over the location of a dive site and pollution stacks near a school as part of the WestConnext project will be aired at a public meeting this weekend.
The meeting, to be held on Saturday, May 26, at Balmain Town Hall, is being convened to hear the concerns of residents and parents over the location of a dive site for the proposed Second Sydney Harbour Tunnel, which will be located just 50 metres from Rozelle Public School.
The proximity of the dive site to the school means students will be subjected to unfiltered emissions from the tunnelling process, a fact that has angered local residents.
Sunil Badami, a spokesperson for the Rozelle Public School P&C Association, is frustrated by the unfair treatment of students in Rozelle.
“Planning Minister Anthony Roberts likened stacks and tunnels near schools to be like asbestos when opposing the Lane Cove Tunnel," Mr Badami said.
"Premier Gladys Berijiklian said it was a moral health issue, and how could the (then) government sleep at night knowing such dangerous toxins were being showered on children and families,” he said.
“So why aren’t our children as important as the kids in their electorates?”
The location of the dive site, along with the approval of stage 3 of WestConnex, the M4/M5 link, was approved by the NSW Government but was not made public until 10 days later.
Inner West mayor Darcy Byrne has urged residents of the Rozelle/Balmain peninsula to attend the meeting to show the extent of community concerns.
“The planning of WestConnex has been marked by ineptitude and secrecy at every turn. This approval will mean more unfiltered smoke stacks and the mother of all rat runs across the Inner West,” Cr Byrne said.
However, some have questioned the Inner West Council's motives in calling the meeting.
Peter Hehir, from the action group Rozelle Against WestConnex, believes it is a political move.
“I think it is in response to the public meeting that Jamie (Parker, State MP for Balmain) convened which basically packed out the Town Hall, and was a very interesting and informative presentation,” he said.
Sydney Motorways Corporation which manages WestConnex was contacted for comment, however had not responded at the time of publishing.