It was a case of trotting out the same old lies as the three conservative amigos – Mayor Tim Overall, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and ACT Senator Seselja – attended a ‘sod turning’ event to mark the start of construction of the Ellerton Drive Extension (EDE) today.
In an astonishing revelation that he has clearly never read the EDE noise reports, Mayor Overall said residents wouldn’t be affected by an estimated 18 months of construction noise, never mind when the road is open to traffic.
Senator Seselja claimed the EDE would reduce traffic congestion in the Queanbeyan CBD but the council’s traffic studies show traffic volumes will continue to rise, meaning the EDE will make hardly any difference at all.
Building the EDE comes at a heavy social, environmental and financial cost to our community and thousands of its residents who will be directly affected.
As the council’s own traffic studies show the EDE is the least effective treatment to reduce traffic congestion, it is clear the EDE is primarily for the benefit of developers, so they can build close to 300 houses at Jumping Creek on the Eastern Escarpment.
Those same developers have been gifted $50 million of public money – $25 million from each of the NSW and Australian governments – to build the EDE. The council and RMS even changed the road design to save the developers’ money, just like they asked, removing the median strip, narrowing the shoulders and removing almost all lighting.
Close watchers of politics will tell you: Don’t listen to what politicians say, look at what they do.
And we know what Tim Overall and his fellow travellers are doing: destroying forest and woodland, risking the water quality of Queanbeyan River, exposing thousands of people to increased noise and air pollution, and loading all of us up with the risk of a $36 million low-interest loan to developers for their share of the construction costs.
Read the full report in the Queanbeyan Age, complete with a photo of the three amigos laughing as they throw soil into the air. Their lack of concern or respect for the people on whom they have foisted this idea from the 1970s is disgraceful.