New South Wales
I have been a resident and property owner of the western side of Wattle Grove for nearly 24 years. I wish to object to the proposed re-alignment of Moorebank Ave on the following grounds:
1. The re-alignment will very obviously increase noise impacts to Wattle Grove residents. Residents are already suffering significant levels of noise from SIMTA, despite multiple assurances that their quality of life would be protected. Statements like "identification of feasible and reasonable noise mitigation and management" as made in this proposal have proven to be completely worthless to local residents as there is now near continuous background noise audible, in Wattle Grove, for example, at my house. In the evenings and at night loud noises (possibly shunting) can be heard inside the house with doors and windows closed. SIMTA has made no effort to reduce or eliminate the existing noise, so they cannot not be permitted to increase the noise by moving a main road 500m closer to residents and should not be granted permission.
2. The proposed re-alignment traverses the so-called boot land, putting the animals and plants in this location at risk, including the critically endangered plants such as hibbertia fumana and also threatened wildlife. This should not be permitted.
3. The proposal aims to address the problem of the MPE and MPW sites causing traffic congestion on through traffic along Moorebank Ave, however it considers just two options, mingling the traffic and realigning Moorebank Ave. A third option not even considered is that the traffic between the two sites could be achieved through grade separation with bridges or tunnels from MPE to MPW over the existing Moorebank Avenue alignment. This would protect residents from further undue noise, avoid the indicated traffic problems and would protect the boot land flora and fauna.
4. The cause of this problem is SIMTA's refusal to consider this extremely large development as a single integrated project. It has been obvious from the start that this is a single large development. By maintaining the fiction of two separate projects SIMTA has achieved many planning concessions, for example never having to consider the combined traffic and noise impacts. This ongoing planning fiction has lead to this situation where the supposedly unintegrated neighbouring projects are now understood to have significant cross traffic, enough to justify the significant cost of a diversion of 3KM of Moorebank Avenue. If SIMTA had been honest about the integration between the two halves of their project, the integration could and should have been part of planning from the beginning.
5. By diverting Moorebank Ave, SIMTA seems to avoid previous commitments restricting traffic leaving MPE and MPW.
6. The design is a poor design, with (it would seem) four sets of lights in a 650m stretch of the diverted Moorebank Avenue (Anzac Rd, DNSDC/JLC, "old" Moorebank Ave, and the first MPE entrance). This can be expected to induce traffic jams considering the very significant level of traffic expected from the terminal and the heavy traffic already using Moorebank Avenue to avoid the significant congestion on the M5
7. SIMTA has already inflicted very significant impacts on the local ecology, notably the destruction of a very large number of mature trees and the complete devastation of several square KM of land with millions of cubic metres of imported fill on their own site. Allowing further disruption to wildlife and plant species by dividing the boot land with a road is completely unacceptable to local residents and an outrageous impact on our environment
8. The risks to residents, staff working at the terminal and other road users due to bushfires. The land under consideration in the proposal has burned in two significant bushfires in the last 25 years. Depending on the circumstances and wind direction evacuating residents and particularly staff could be forced much closer to a bushfire by relocating the road adjacent to the bush while the current alignment is mainly well away from the bush.
9. The noise modelling mentioned in the proposal is largely invalidated by the importation of fill and the raising of the site by some 2-3 metres. The proposed re-alignment also intends to import a significant amount of fill and will raise the height of the road some metres above the current level. The result of this is that more of the road noise will be transmitted to residents because the road is higher than the surrounding area, closer to residents and much busier. The proponent must show a lot more evidence that this noise will be properly managed before proposing a serious disturbance to local residents of this magnitude.
For all of these reasons, I urge you to refuse this proposal.
If you cannot refuse this proposal, I urge you to please consider the impact on Wattle Grove residents by requiring a very significant noise barrier infrastructure for the full length of the re-alignment and also to consider the impact on wildlife and plant life by requiring very much more significant protection through the boot land to avoid animals from being cut off in one section or the other.