Motorway plan sparks fears for Glebe
- Peter Hackney
- Thursday, 16 August 2012
Community groups in Glebe are concerned for their neighbourhood following reports of an extension to the M4 Motorway.
Fairfax and News Ltd papers reported last week of an Infrastructure NSW plan for the motorway, which currently runs from the Blue Mountains to Strathﬁeld.
An eastward extension underneath Parramatta Road would see the motorway end at Glebe, the reports said.
The project would involve an eight-lane tunnel between Strathﬁeld and Glebe, surfacing near Sydney University.
The plan has been greeted with concern by local interest groups, who urged the State Government to protect the heritage suburb.
Jan Wilson, President of the Coalition of Glebe Groups (COGG), told City News Glebe was already under signiﬁcant stress.
“Glebe is a heritage suburb that’s already under a lot of pressure,” she said.
“I don’t think it can take much more and survive with its character intact.”
Ms Wilson said the plan would incite vigorous protests if it involved land resumptions and demolitions in Glebe.
“There’d be an uprising, that’s what would happen,” she said.
“We saw enormous protests in the ’70s against a freeway plan which would have split the suburb in half, and the State Government was forced to abandon the idea.”
John Gray, Vice-President of the Glebe Society, also invoked the memory of the 1970s protests.
“The Askin Government wanted to build a freeway through the middle of Glebe and was met with ﬁerce opposition, and the plan was dropped when Neville Wran came to power.”
Mr Gray said he was concerned about the new reports but would adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach.
“It’s certainly something to keep an eye on but I’d need to see more details on it before I get too concerned … We’ll see what transpires.”
Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said the City of Sydney had not been consulted about any planned motorway extension.
“The City of Sydney has not been consulted about a reported proposal to build a motorway under Parramatta Road,” she told City News.
“Any proposal for a new motorway must take account of the impacts on local residents.”
Ms Moore implored the State Government to look at the wider transport picture, urging investment in “all forms of transport” to reduce Sydney’s congestion, “including light rail and heavy rail”.
A spokesperson for Infrastructure NSW told City News reports of the M4 extension were premature.
“The recent newspaper reports were speculative in nature and do not warrant comment at this time,” the spokesperson said.
“These reports concerned a proposal which has not yet been put to the State Government.”
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