The Nature Conservation Council of NSW and Western Sydney Conservation Alliance are calling on the Coalition to take the opportunity presented by its NSW election campaign launch in Penrith on Sunday 20 March to reassure residents that Western Sydney and its natural environment won’t be overrun by urban sprawl.
NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell’s support for greater development at the city fringe would destroy areas of natural bushland, leave communities lumbered with poor public transport options and is in no way a sustainable solution for dealing with Sydney’s expected population growth.
“Barry O’Farrell’s proposal will push many of Western Sydney’s native plants and animals to the brink of extinction,” Western Sydney Conservation Alliance President Geoff Brown said
“Coalition ministers Brad Hazzard and Catherine Cusack have been out here to Western Sydney and told us they’re committed to conserving more of Western Sydney’s endangered bushland including another 100 hectares at the ADI Site and establishing ecological corridors. But this does not align with their current push for more urban sprawl.
“It is time the Coalition was honest with the people of Western Sydney and outlined the details of their environmental and planning policies at their campaign launch in Penrith this weekend. We want Barry O’Farrell to guarantee the conservation of the additional 100 hectares of the ADI Site and the creation of the ecological corridors” he said.
“Dumping 128,000 new homes in Western and South Western Sydney is nothing less than an environmental and planning catastrophe for all of Sydney,” Nature Conservation Council of NSW Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said today.
“Mr O’Farrell must explain how he can hope to protect the environment and support the infrastructure needs of Western Sydney while giving the green light for further urban sprawl.
“We know poor public transport options will generate 603,000 additional car trips each day on the already congested streets of the city’s west, bringing with them increased air pollution and the threat of greater respiratory problems for children and the elderly.
“I’m also extremely alarmed by figures that suggest the Coalition’s housing plan could increase carbon pollution by 6 million tonnes to 2036. We need the Coalition to come clean on just how much carbon and air pollution will result from a planning strategy built on the mistaken belief that Sydney can grow forever without a workable strategy to protect our natural environment,” he said.