Inner West Independent

The coming storm…

Protest graphic by Joel Tarling. Photo: Courtesy of People Before Profit campaign

Opinion by PETER HEHIR

Toxic soup in the harbour, poisoned air, the amalgamation debacle, the huge debt the Inner West Council has incurred and the inevitability of increased rates begs the question. 

What is it that you, as a concerned individual, can do?

Send the report and the SMH article to as many of your friends in the Inner West as you can; encourage them to support candidates in the upcoming Council elections in September who stand on the platform of de-amalgamation and who demand our air and water be fit for humans and animals alike. 

Make people aware that the ‘coalition’ that rules the massively-in-debt Inner West Council is a cosy cadre of both Liberal and Labor Party members; councillors – in conjunction with like minded independents, who it can be argued, have successfully sent the Inner West Council broke and who have totally destroyed the concept of “Open Council” established by local champions Nick Origlass and Issy Weiner some 45 years ago in Leichhardt. 

This unholy alliance has shown itself to be hostile to critical Inner West residents; those ordinary people who have rejected both major parties at the State level. 

Encourage like minded friends to write a couple of sentences to the Sydney Morning Herald expressing fears for the quality of the air and water that will result from the construction of the Rozelle Interchange and the Western Harbour Tunnel. 

Mention that it would be extremely unwise to ever again use the Sydney Harbour ocean pools or risk a dip in the Harbour. The toxic soup that will be released by the dredging is a killer. If you don’t believe me just read the report here and the article by Professor Ravi Naidu here.

Highlight the morbidity and mortality that will result from the more than 300 tonnes of poisoned and carcinogenic diesel vehicle exhaust that will be imported into Rozelle annually from St Peters, Homebush and Cammeray and released through the four unfiltered stacks, resulting in the premature and painful deaths of tens of thousands of local residents over the coming years.

Ask why it is that the EPA and the DPIE have done nothing to highlight the dangers? Are they just toothless tigers there to do the Government’s bidding? Are we living in a bizarre episode of “Yes Minister”? 

Finally we need to shake the rusted on supporters of both major parties from their slumber and see that they can’t continue to support candidates who treat local residents so shabbily and not suffer any consequences at the ballot box. 

We live within the shell of a democracy.

We need to eliminate party politics from local government and have planning powers restored to councillors who genuinely represent the aspirations of those who love the Inner West and who actually care about the amenity, heritage and history of the area in which we all live.

Peter Hehir is the Convenor of RAW (Rozelle Against WestConnex) and recent NRMA candidate for the Harbour Region in the 2019 elections.

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