Mike Baird’s new “Inner West Council” is now under the administration of his handpicked delegate Richard Pearson, who previously held the position of Deputy Director General of Planning NSW.
All three former Inner West Councils have had strong opposition to the WestConnex project, that is championed by Planning NSW, and it is clear that this history of opposition to the unpopular WestConnex is now being silenced and erased.
Facebook postings critical of the giant WestConnex road project began disappearing from the former Leichhardt Council Facebook page on Thursday adding to fears that the new administrator of the merged council, Richard Pearson, has been installed to help shepherd the project through.
The Greens, who were tipped off about the disappearances, took screenshots as postings were disappearing on Thursday.
“This is an Orwellian rewriting of history and a deeply political act from the new administration,” Greens MP and local government spokesman David Shoebridge said.
Greens MP and Local Government Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“Going back in time and removing posts that are critical of the Baird government has a terrible Orwellian feel to it. Political censorship should have no place in 21st century Australia.
“These Councils have been under Premier Baird’s new administration for less than a week and we are already seeing efforts to silence and erase local opposition to WestConnex.
“These three councils have been a thorn in the side of Baird’s plans to bulldoze WestConnex through the inner west, so it’s little wonder he wanted to censor them.
“This can only be a sign of what’s to come in Baird’s undemocratic council amalgamation agenda.” Mr Shoebridge said
Greens Member for Newtown and Westconnex Spokesperson Jenny Leong said:
“This is the worst of all possible outcomes for the community of the former Marrickville, Leichhardt and Ashfield councils. Not only has their local representation been sacked and their local councils forcibly amalgamated, but we now see an unelected Administration seemingly overturning previous council decisions by stealth.
“When I met with the new Administrator yesterday he said that the position of the Inner West Council in relation to WestConnex was yet to be determined. This is despite the fact that I made it very clear that the three former councils that make up the new council had a unanimous position opposing WestConnex.
“My Greens colleague the Member for Balmain and I last night alerted the community to this seriously concerning news at a public meeting in Balmain on WestConnex – already hundreds of people have signed a letter calling on the Administrator to honour the previous positions of the councils and make it clear the new Inner West Council opposes WestConnex.”