(Ed: The New M5 is being assessed under State Significant provisions of the NSW Environment, Planning and Assessment Act. Under this law, the Department prepares the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs). You can read a full copy of the SEARS here.
This is the second part of Transport planning and modelling specialist Chris Standen’s four part submission. In this part, Standen analyses the SEARS and finds the EIS does not meet a number of requirements. It’s worth noting that some local Councils and other experts agreed with Standen that the M4 EIS requirements were not met by the Westconnex EIS. The failure to meet requirements should be a serious matter that if allowed to pass without examination undermines the entire assessment process. No decision has been made on the M4 East project yet.
( If you have missed the first part of his submission, read it here.)
The submission has been presented by the People’s M5 EIS is a format that suits wordpress. The full submission will be uploaded later on the People’s M4 EIS. You can use this and other submissions on the People’s M5 EIS to develop your own response.
The SEARS provide for an analysis of feasible alternatives to the carrying out of the proposal and proposal justification, including:
- an analysis of alternatives/options considered, having regard to the proposal objectives (including an assessment of the environmental costs and benefits of the proposal relative to alternatives and the consequences of not carrying out the proposal), and whether or not the proposal is in the public interest,
- justification for the preferred proposal taking into consideration the objects of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979,
- details of the alternative ventilation options considered during the tunnel design to meet the air quality criteria for the proposal,
- details of the short-listed route and tunnel options from the tender process and the criteria that was considered in the selection of the preferred route and tunnel design, and staging of the proposal and the broader WestConnex scheme, and in particular access to Sydney Airport and Port Botany and improved freight efficiencies.
Standen’s finding: FAIL
Comment: The EIS does not include cost-benefit analysis, modelling, or any other objective analysis of feasible alternatives. Only cursory descriptions are provided.
No alternative staging strategies are described or objectively assessed. Continue reading