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Estimates: Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee (WestConnex)

The Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Mr Mrdak, and the Acting Executive Director of the Infrastructure Investment Division, Mr Foulds, respond to queries regarding the WestConnex strategic business case and the extent of the federal government's oversight of the project. 

CHAIR: Senator Conroy, you have had 17½ minutes. We will come back to you. Senator Rhiannon. 

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Speech: War on Trees

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (21:43): The New South Wales Premier, Mike Baird, is waging a war on trees-quite literally, a war on trees. It is extremely destructive, occasioning great hurt, and right now he is not stopping. In one suburb, Randwick, along Anzac Parade, 400 trees are being turned into woodchips. These are beautiful trees-trees that are habitat to an amazing array of birds, possums and an incredible number of insects. The biodiversity is considerable. Many of these trees are now being destroyed by 'Mike Baird's chainsaw massacre'.

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Badgerys Creek Airport flight paths threat to Blue Mountains world heritage status

Reports that the World Heritage status of the Blue Mountains National Park could be lost if the current plans for Badgerys Creek Airport flight paths proceed provides further proof that this project should be scrapped, Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said. (SMH,

"The World Heritage listing and natural integrity of the Blue Mountains National Park should not be put at risk from noise pollution associated with Badgerys Creek Airport," Senator Rhiannon said.

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WestConnex $6 billion cost blowout - Turnbull govt refuses review

In the wake of the release of the updated WestConnex Business Case and the New M5 EIS the Greens have criticised the federal government for ruling out a review of the project that has been hit with a multi-billion dollar blowout in total costs.

Newtown Greens MP Jenny Leong said ‘With the cost of the WestConnex blowing out from the initial $10 billion to $16.8 billion this project should be urgently reviewed.

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Speech: Road Infrastructure

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (17:00): Urban motorways reveal some of the worst aspects of how major parties do politics and the worst aspects of their own transport policies. In Sydney we have this madness of a WestConnex urban motorway project. A 33-kilometre, dirty tollway that would divide Sydney, bring greater air pollution, increase congestion, divide suburbs and rip up bike lanes.

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