Our commitment to protecting local heritage is enshrined in the WestConnex Sustainability Strategy includes an overarching objective to “protect and enhance the natural environment and local heritage”.
To achieve this, we design our projects to avoid heritage items where possible and proactively manage heritage items during construction. By tunnelling underground, we are able to limit our impacts to property and areas of heritage importance. Our tunnels are generally in good-quality sandstone and are up to 50 metres underground, reducing any potential impacts even further. When designing WestConnex, a number of significant heritage items have been avoided, such as the State heritage significant Yasmar Reserve site on Parramatta Road, Haberfield.
We learn about local heritage by:
- talking to local people
- reviewing local, state and national heritage registers
- talking to key stakeholders (like representatives of local Aboriginal groups, the NSW Heritage Council and heritage advisors and experts); and
- carrying out field surveys and site visits.
Our project footprint embraces one of the highest densities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the nation. We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land our project footprint embraces, along with elders past and present.
We assess all potential impacts to both Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal heritage through the environmental assessment process. The findings of these assessments are included in the Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for each project, which are publicly displayed for community comment.
The EIS documents also include measures to avoid or reduce potential impacts on heritage and we take our responsibility to respect and preserve heritage very seriously.
The M4 East and New M5 projects have required us to clear some properties with heritage significance or within heritage conservation areas. When this happens, we carefully catalogue and remove heritage features from these properties and reuse them in other parts of our project, make them available to the community, or work with councils on other opportunities to distribute and reuse the items.
For more information on how we are protecting local heritage visit: