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boral media statement

Boral have produced a Media Statement that attempts to paint themselves as innocent bystanders in the project that is taking away our safe cycleway and replacing it with an unsafe highway crossing. The media statement is set out below with our comments.

Boral's Statement Our Comments

A new cycleway crossing is to be built at Widemere as part of the multi-million dollar redevelopment of the Southern Employment Lands.

Given that the project has destroyed the existing cycleway, of course access should be restored. However, it should be safe access not a dangerous highway crossing.

The new crossing will be built by Boral at no cost to ratepayers and follows consultation over the past 18 months with Holroyd, Fairfield and Blacktown councils, State Government authorities and residents.

Boral has removed a safe cycleway and will replace it with an unsafe highway crossing. Why should there be a cost to ratepayers? They didn't destroy the cycleway.

What residents were consulted? Why wasn’t a Community Advisory Group formed for serious community consultation.

During construction, the existing cycleway crossing will be closed, according to the Senior Development Manager at the site, John Imrie.

Statement of the obvious. A more accurate statement would be: "has been closed, with no warning".

He said the proposal for the new cycleway, including the changes to the existing canal, had been publicly exhibited in September, 2006, and there had been no objections lodged against the suggested changes by either Council or residents.

The fact remains that the community is unaware of this exhibition and especially any plans to remove safe access to and from Prospect Reservoir. The focus of the exhibit was on the land development and the cycleway removal did not figure prominantly.

The removal of a small portion of the Lower Prospect Canal was expressly approved by the Heritage Council of NSW. This has been done under the supervision of an archaeologist and material collected for an interpretive display.

Why wasn’t this shared with the community for 3 years.

If it’s a small portion of the canal why has Boral told us a replacement bridge would need to be huge.

“The work being undertaken is in line with the approvals received by Boral.” he said. “The plans have not changed since then. Boral is complying with all the relevant planning legislation.”

This has never been in dispute.

Why is Boral defending something that hasn’t been challenged? More to the point is whether Boral is complying with their own internal Code of Corporate Conduct.

Mr Imrie said the closure was expected to be in place for an estimated six months while construction of the new cycleway crossing and the extended Reconciliation Drive was undertaken.”

This is about the only thing that has been communicated to the community, but it was still after the fact. Why wasn’t there advance notice of the closure?

“We apologise to cyclists who use the current crossing regularly for this necessary temporary closure,” he said. “However, the advice from the experts is that such a closure is needed for safety reasons due to the level of heavy machinery involved in the construction of the new roadway and crossing

Of course a heavy construction site will be unsafe - we didn’t even need to consult experts to know that.

The issue is that Boral hasn’t provided a detour as per their own Cycleway Management Plan. The apology should be for not providing a detour as promised.

“We are confident cyclists and local residents will be supportive of the decision on safety grounds, especially since the end result will be a significantly improved road system for the community, which will divert heavy traffic from residential areas in Greystanes.” Closing the cycleway during construction has never been the issue nor has the need for a highway been disputed. Why do Boral keep defending the non issues while ignoring the real issues.

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