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City News

Protestors thrown off WestConnex drilling site

Police at a WestConnex protest

BY RYAN QUINN
Police were called to a WestConnex protestor site in Haberfield on Tuesday morning, September 29.

The protestors, part of the WestConnex Action Group (WAG), were allegedly warned by police that they could be arrested for occupying a new M4 East project drilling site.

The protestors followed workers as they entered the fenced drilling site, which prompted the police to be called.

One of the protestors was WAG member Sharon Laura.

“They said ‘please leave’, and we said ‘well, we’re not leaving, because we don’t understand on what authority you’re doing this, and we’ve been asking these questions for at least three months’,” Ms Laura told City Hub.

Protesting Haberfield residents said the believed that the preliminary investigations for the M4 East WestConnex project is being undertaken prior to planning approval.

“We believe we’re being told, the council’s being told, the community’s being told, that this is happening, it’s going ahead, ‘trust us, we know what we’re doing’. Basically, we who live around here, don’t trust them.”

These residents have questioned why contracts have been signed and why work has commenced this early in the process, especially when the Environmental Impact Statement was only released for exhibition on September 10.
Tuesday’s protestors were issued two warnings after police arrived and continued their protest outside the fenced off area to avoid arrest.

“They said they had permission to set up the work site, we question that. They may have a job sheet, but who really is trespassing? And I would say I believe they are trespassing in doing what they’re doing,” Ms Laura said.

According to her, this is the first drilling site seen in Haberfield, as part of a string of drilling sites being investigated from Homebush to Ashfield.

A joint venture between Leighton Samsung and John Holland Joint Venture signed a contract to deliver the M4 East project in June, two months prior to the release of the Environemntal Impact Statement for exhibition.