Strathfield MP and Planning Minister reinstate WestConnex community consultation

The State Government has made a promise to restart the consultation period for the WestConnex for residents and businesses along Parramatta Road in an astonishing about face.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes and Strathfield MP Jodi McKay announced that the State Government will start the consultations in October this year in an interview with the Scene and encouraged residents to take part.

It is a stunning win for Ms McKay, who is the new Labor MP but also the Shadow Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight.

And it is an interesting example of political bipartisanship that Mr Stokes would come out to Strathfield to announce it.

Reinstating the WestConnex community consultation was one of Ms McKay’s election promises, and also, one of the initiatives she hoped to achieve during her first 100 days in office.

The Minister pledged he will meet each of the 10 councils along Parramatta Road in a bid to win over their partnership in the $1 billion road project.

“Previously, there was only ever one face to face meeting with the former Planning Minister and the fact that the Minister is now going to meet the 10 councils is very important. Because that process came to a grinding halt and there is a will by the councils to take part in this, because they understand the housing pressure we face, but it has to be done right,” said Ms McKay.

“It is a respectful approach and what the residents kept saying over the past six months is that there hasn’t been enough communications. But this project needs a bipartisan approach to kick this off to allow the community to have say.”

But Mr Stokes could make no promise that the density around the Homebush precinct, which the State Government has targeted to hold 33% of Sydney’s new population, would be reduced.  

“Jodi’s message has been entirely consistent with the message from the community and that is that consultation to date has not been sufficient, there is need for a much more granular consultation, and targeted consultation that people are concerned about.

“And those details are around transport, about the inclusion of active transport, about the protection of heritage, about some definition about what heights are and have the opportunity to contribute more. We know that this process is going to involve conflict, and it is going to involve compromise but there will be an overwhelming benefit to the local and regional community.”

Mr Stokes said Urban Growth NSW will be releasing a Community Feedback Report which outlined issues residents raised during the first consultation period.

One of the biggest concerns of residents from the Strathfield/Homebush/North Strathfield area was the location of the area’s enormous density increase.

The report says residents believe the density should be located towards Strathfield Station because it is best serviced transport hub in the district and if resident high-rise is to be introduced, it should be built around hubs to North Strathfield, Homebush and Flemington stations.

“I don’t think there is anyone that will disagree that Parramatta Road needs to be rejuvenated. There has been great support but there is obviously going to be conflict and it is contested but if it starts from a position of respect, then this project is off to a much better start,” said Ms McKay.

“I am much more comfortable with that. Rob and I have spoken twice about this and I am very grateful that this is happening.”


Whoop-di-do, more 'consultations'. These wasteCONnex consultations are a farce. At obscure times and locations with know-nothing staff who are shameless government drones that parrot the usual lies about how wasteCONnex will 'get you home quicker', they are tick-a-box pantomime.

Jodi, we expect nothing less than total opposition to wasteCONnex, a halt to all work and tendering processes, and a parliamentary enquiry.

Come to Leichhardt Town Hall 7pm on Tues June 16, to hear Jodi McKay, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, Paul Davies, John Mant and others speak about WestConnex.

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