Save our serenity: Robert Kassouf doesn’t want an M9 and south-west rail corridor taking homes and creating noise and air pollution through his Orchard Hills neighbourhood. Picture: Gary WarrickIt might not quite be the plot of the movie The Castle, but Claremont Meadows and Orchard Hills residents have won an early victory to save their homes from the M9 Orbital.
Penrith Council listened to their arguments and vowed to oppose any road and rail corridor that destroyed homes in the two suburbs.
The council had earlier given a preferred option to the NSW government indicating places they’d like stations on the proposed network that had residents worried.
Councillor Prue Car indicated that she understood that if people put the preferred options on maps and drew lines between them it appeared they would go through people’s homes and protected woodland.
The council heard from members of the Stop the Orbital and Rail Corridor Action Group (STORC) as they detailed what they believed were breakdowns in communication, consultation and support.
When asked if he believed this was a big win for fearful residents, STORC member Robert Kassouf said: “I think it’s all depending on what is handed down by NSW government and federal government.”
“In the end the council needs to get that support and I’m hoping they do.”
Mr Kassouf said people wouldn’t be able to sell their homes while the corridor was a possibility.
He urged councillors to withdraw their recommendation to Transport NSW.
Christopher Rust said he understood the decision was ultimately the state government’s but wanted the council’s backing.
“We are confronted with a difficult task . . . we are asking council for support,” he said.
“Help your community.”
Bruce Downs, who has lived in Orchard Hills for 17 years, said he joined STORC because he didn’t think there was clear information for the public to digest.
Councillors Car and Bernard Bratusa moved to “clarify” the council position as against destroying homes in Claremont Meadows and Orchard Hills or having a corridor through endangered Cumberland Plain woodland.
The motion also included measures to ensure better public consultation and improved information sharing on the matter.
Deputy mayor Greg Davies and Cr John Thain said they hadn’t chosen their preferred corridor options believing people’s homes would be affected.
The councillors also expressed their hope that they and STORC would be able to work together more closely over the matter.
The original report prepared for the council indicates five stations will sited along a public transport corridor 60 metres wide between the western railway line in the north and Narellan in the south, with a station at Badgerys Creek.
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