Rail protesters 'get no answers'

WESTERN Sydney residents rallied together at a meeting to protest against a proposed rail corridor and motorway that could threaten their homes and endangered bushland.

More than 250 people — including concerned residents and members of the Stop the Orbital and Rail Corridor action group — attended a drop-in community feedback session with Transport for NSW.

The meeting follows a community rally at the Defence Establishment Orchard Hills on June 25 to protest the state government's moves to reserve a corridor which will allow the South West Rail Link to join up with the western line at St Marys as well as the proposed Outer Sydney Orbital (M9).

Western Sydney Conservation Alliance president Geoff Brown, a member of the Stop the Orbital and Rail Corridor, said people walked out of the meeting "shaking their heads".

"We got no answers," he said. "The Transport Department just got up and said 'we just want to hear from you'.

"Prior to the protest, the informal drop-in session was happening and they were having one-on-ones with people.

"That's not how you do a consultation.

"You need one spokesperson telling the whole crowd answers to their questions."

Lauren Taylor agreed.

"We overheard residents being told on many occasions 'this is just the start of the process, just the beginning — we still have a very long way to go'," Ms Taylor said.

"When challenged that this was being rushed, and that we understand that there is not a long way to go and this proposal needs to be finalised by December 2014, this was acknowledged.

"In other words, there was no clear timeline and preferred corridors, and the potential impacts to residents presented without any clarity at all."

However, Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies — who organised the drop-in session — said the feedback she had received from residents was that the evening was very informative and productive.

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