GREEN CITY OR TRAFFIC NIGHTMARE?
One of the Westconnex stacks at Marrickville. Coming to a school near you.
In a number of recent surveys of the Willoughby LGA, residents have stressed the importance of having a ‘green’ community. WEPA recently commented on Willoughby City Council’s (WCC) ‘Our Green City Plan’ which is an important attempt by Council to put this desire to be more sustainable and commit to the environment into practice. Many of its strategies are well worth supporting and Council should be applauded for its efforts to become a leader in sustainability.
WEPA suggests the plan would be improved by including two new sections one on ‘Open Recreation Space’ such as parks, ovals and sports grounds (which had somehow become integrated with bushland management in the plan – two very different things!).
We also recommend that any plan for a Green City had to address the protection and management of Willoughby’s ‘Urban Tree Canopy’.
Finally, we thought that there was a need for WCC to acknowledge the potential impact of the NSW State Government’s Beaches Link/Western Harbour tunnel proposal. Its proposed works pose one of the greatest environmental challenges for our area for decades. It has implications for air quality – particularly for our children – noise pollution, traffic congestion, bushland and waterway protection and loss of local biodiversity. WEPA urges Council to work more closely with the relevant Government agencies to promote public transport rather than more car tunnels. We have also suggested a range of other strategies which Council might include in the draft policy to protect the health of the environment and the community from tunnel impacts.
Ironically, the video produced by Council to advertise the draft Green City Plan and the images in the plan itself show volunteers working in Flat Rock Gully bushland (6 acres of which are to be bull-dozed) and people swimming at Northbridge baths – which may become unusable as a result of the dredging of Middle Harbour for the tunnel. We hope that the Council will update its draft policy so that it addresses these significant impacts on behalf of the community.
You can see our comments and recommendations on WEPA Reports and Submissions page: https://wepa.org.au/wepa-resources/wepa-submissions/