The NSW government wants to bulldoze a large tract of community land around Flat Rock Drive to construct the Northern Beaches tunnel. Another tunnel for private vehicles, but not trains, is crazy. Haven’t they learnt the lesson that the traffic will rapidly expand to clog the new road? We have to get more people into public transport!
Just like West Connex, the construction and operation will come at great environmental cost. They are proposing to use either the baseball diamond area in Bicentennial Reserve on Flat Rock Drive or the Flat Rock Gully bushland on the other side of the Drive.
Both are important open spaces used by many groups in the community. Here are just a few of the known negative impacts of the tunnel construction.
- Around 6 acres of well-used community space will be taken over by tunnel construction.
- Flat Rock Gully is a critical wildlife corridor and is recognised for its biodiversity and as one of the last refuges for our fast disappearing small native bird population. It also provides a habitat for foraging Powerful Owls, Swamp Wallabies, lyrebirds and many other native animals.
- Willoughby City Council and many dedicated volunteers have worked for 25 years to remediate this bushland.
- There is no guarantee that the Flat Rock Gully site will be returned to bushland. The RMS has offered to leave buildings and cleared areas to be used for other purposes.
- The RMS has advised that there will be over 70 truck movements an hour carrying contaminated spoil through already congested local roads and near local schools.
- The tunnel will be dug through toxic fill from the old tip site. The ground is unstable and the tip is known to contain asbestos and other toxic material.
- There will be risks of air, land, noise and water pollution from the tunnel activities to nearby homes and schools and more broadly to the Willoughby district and surrounding areas including Middle Harbour.
See the fact sheet for environmentalists. This site explains how you can act to oppose the proposal. However the consultation period has now closed.
This information comes courtesy of WEPA (Willoughby Environment Protection Association)