The newly-elected Central Coast Council must, as a matter of urgency, write to Transport for NSW, asking for a stay of execution on the environmentally sensitive land at Kangy Angy, where it intends to start construction of its inter-city rail maintenance facility before the end of the year, according to Mr Mike Campbell, speaking on behalf of the Kangy Angy Residents’ Action Group (KARAG).
“The Kangy Angy land was never a TfNSW preferred site for the facility until it was suggested by the former Wyong Council, Mr Campbell said. Immediately after the dismissal of Wyong Council in May 2016, the NSW Government appointed Administrator, Mr Ian Reynolds, resolved to sell the environmentally-sensitive and flood-prone Council land at Kangy Angy to TfNSW. Mr Mike Campbell said: “We’d like the new Council to write to TfNSW to look at alternative sites. “We know it is probably a vain hope, but there are no shovels in the ground yet,” he said. Mr Campbell said TfNSW also needed to fully inform both Council and the community about their plans for Phase 2 of the Inter-City Fleet Maintenance Facility it intends to build at Kangy Angy.
Members of KARAG, in response to the news that TfNSW intends to start construction on the site in coming months, also called for a delay until the NSW Auditor General had an opportunity to report to Parliament on site selection before the end of the year. In December 2016, Ms Michelle Nicholson, the resident who will be the closest sound receiver to the facility, wrote to the NSW Auditor General, setting out what she considered to be matters requiring further investigation. In response, the NSW Audit Offi ce undertook to look more closely at the site selection process and said any signifi cant issues would be reported in its annual report to Parliament on Transport. Those reports are usually released in November or December, prompting KARAG’s calls for commencement to be delayed until the Auditor’s findings are tabled in Parliament. Ms Nicholson’s letter also highlighted the fact that the TfNSW plans for the Kangy Angy site appear to be incomplete. “The site selection comparison is not accurate, as the site at Warnervale had a North and South exit, while the proposed project at Kangy Angy only has a south exit,” Ms Nicholson said. “They’re not talking about the Phase 2 of this,” Mr Campbell said. “On their original plans, they had all the exit lines superimposed on their maps.
“The trains go into the big shed for maintenance and then you have the exit lines coming out of the facility to the main train line itself. “What they have given us is stage one. “When I was at one of the earliest meetings, one of the chief engineers said there would be a stage two, but not for about five years. “What has been presented to us is a stage one and you are looking at, at least 50 per cent more of a site mown down for the exit lines back onto the railway. “We have been told the trains will be reversed out of the facility and onto the line, so the question has to remain, because we were told there was a Stage 2. “The council needs to request for TfNSW to come and talk about alternative sites. “We want the facility, everyone says it is good for the Coast, but we are saying the alternative sites should be relooked at. “This would only mean a delay of four or five months on the project, but the point is, let’s not rush into destroying this most sensitive area. “Then there is the flooding issue and the hundreds of thousands of tonne of fi ll that will need to be put in, this will impact on a much greater area, and we have even said it could be the university area that would be impacted more by flooding, once you start to fi ll hundreds of thousands of tonnes in Kangy Angy. “It is worth asking TfNSW to wait and come to the new Council and report in detail so the new Council can show their concerns about this.”
Source: Interview, Sep 11 Mike Campbell, KARAG Email, Sep 11 Michelle Nicholson, KARAG Jackie Pearson, journalist