Appin residents impacted by the Outer Sydney Orbital Stage 2 have until January 29 to lodge their submission concerning the controversial future arterial road (submission a few days after the closing date will also be considered).
Linda Seeney whose family have lived in the area for a number of generations, said Stage 2 of the road is flawed and would significantly impact Appin.
As identified by Transport for NSW the future transport link is between the Hume Motorway and Appin Road, east of Appin village -connecting new housing developments, and employment growth.
The community was presented with two road options online, but some residents believe the department is appearing to lean heavily towards the yellow option, which would go through many existing properties and destroy the heritage of the town.
“The fact is that the yellow option affects many, many households and families whereas the blue option does not,” MS Seeney said.
“The blue option is almost all developer owned land that is already cleared and slated for houses and roads.”
She believes more favourable criterions were included to the yellow option to make it more viable.
“I discovered that there is a flaw… as the heritage listing on the yellow option was completely overlooked.”
She said this could threaten the history of the area. The yellow option is proposed to go straight through the heritage listed buildings.
Her family has farmed in the area for more than a century and the yellow option could devastate their livelihood.
“Edward Lewis (my grandfather) owned the farm and my father Gordon Lewis has the oval named after him in Appin. We do not want to lose our Appin history.”
She said the yellow route also impacts many other residents that would be forced to lose their homes as it goes through ecologically sensitive lands, beside a koala corridor.
“The TransportNSW’s project team also acknowledged that they underestimated the criteria for community impact on the yellow option.”
This just added to the inconsistencies, Ms Seeney said.
“The initial findings for the yellow option only had two green ‘good’ performance criterions, but this was then changed to four green ‘good’ performance criterions to bring it into line with the blue option.
“There is not a reasonable explanation for this. A great deal of earthworks would be necessary to make the gradient comparable to the blue option. This would add to the overall cost of the yellow option.”
She added that moving freight on the yellow option would prove challenging as there are steep gradients – she said that criteria point was changed from “reasonable” to “good”.
“Transport for NSW has not followed its own protocols and affected residents were not informed prior to the release of the options on social media. The number of severely affected residents on the yellow option has also not been taken into consideration.”
The residents’ concerns have caught the attention of Wollondilly Council and Campbelltown Labor MP, Greg Warren.
Ms Seeney said “they are very supportive”.
A spokesperson for TransportNSW said both corridor options bypass the Appin township to connect to Appin Road, south of the village.
“Transport for NSW is engaging with landowners on the proposed route options to help identify a suitable option that minimises impacts to landowners wherever possible.”
Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org