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Just three weeks after part of a local Bankstown park was earmarked to make way for the widening of a major road, the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has struck again, with more than a dozen trees set for the chop at Wiley Park.
City of Canterbury Bankstown Mayor, Khal Asfour, said the RMS seems to have a reckless attitude.
"We tried to reason with them to save Stevens Reserve but, in the end, they didn’t want to listen to our alternatives, which still would have enabled them to widen Stacey Street," Mayor Asfour said.
"Now the RMS has 17 endangered trees in its sights as it looks to widen Canterbury Road, at the intersection with King Georges Road at Wiley Park.
"Originally, they wanted to take out 44 trees but we have negotiated that down to 17. However, we also came up with an alternate proposal which would have saved the lot.
"On one hand, we have the Department of Planning telling us we need to increase the number of parks and protect the environment, and on the other, Roads and Maritime Services is taking both, preferring bitumen.
"It’s just another example where it’s quite clear, one department is not talking to the other.
"This railroading attitude appears to be endemic, with government departments under pressure from the NSW Government to push through development.
"As we know, it’s already apparent in their Sydenham to Bankstown Urban Renewal Strategy and draft South District Plan, where they want Canterbury-Bankstown to accommodate an extra 50,000 dwellings over the next 20 years.
"It appears to be their way or the highway and the highway isn’t always the right road to travel."
Mayor Asfour said, despite repeated requests, the RMS has been unable to provide how much time motorists could save in peak hour by the road widening.
"They obviously don’t know the tangible benefits of this project, if any, which will cost taxpayers millions of dollars," Mayor Asfour said.
"It appears even the cost is a secret."
9/05/2018 1:42 PM