Articles: Browse Category

NOT UP STACKING

Published:
26/10/2017
Author:
Think Local

North Shore residents are worried about the serious health effects three proposed smoke stacks could have on locals. The stacks - planned to be in North Sydney, St Leonards and Artarmon - are set to be erected to serve the $14 billion, six lanes, 13km Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link, which will run from WestConnex at Rozelle to the Warringah Freeway at North Sydney. It will also tunnel under Middle Harbour and join Wakehurst Parkway at Allambie Heights. 
The major issue that has left North Shore locals reeling is the fact the ventilation stacks, which will tower 20 to 35 metres, are being built near the school - potentially even as close as 500 metres. 

Leaked state government cabinet documents reveal the stacks have caused the normally conservative area to contest the proposal vehemently. 
The tunnel blueprint includes placing unfiltered stacks 500 metres from 7,000 school students at Wenona School, Marist College North Shore, Monte Sant Angelo Mercy College, Cammeray's Anzac Park Primary and Crows Nest TAFE. 
If cabinet documents are correct North Sydney resident Shannon Kerr's two children aged 10 and 14 will be playing just 100 metres from the stack proposed to be developed near North Sydney Bowling Club. 
"Their school uses the park for a playground at lunchtime and they'd be breathing in all those pollutants as they played," says Shannon. 

"But it's one of the only green spaces in North Sydney. We'd definitely think about moving if we don't feel we can trust the air we're breathing." 
Health professionals are worried as the shafts will emit fumes regarded as a World Health Organisation (WHO) Class 1 carcinogen. 
An in-depth document cataloguing serious health concerns based on WHO, the American Cancer Society and The Lancet medical journal studies, was compiled in 2014 by North Shore anaesthetist Dr Ray Nassar when stack positions in Wahroonga where he lived were announced for the nine-kilometre NorthConnex tunnel. 

"Air pollution produced by vehicle emissions consist of chemicals including lead and arsenic, which cause cancer, asthma, heart issues, strokes and cardiovascular disease," says Dr Nassar. 
"A 13-year The Lancet study looked at the adverse health effects on people with long-term air pollution exposure, and found deaths occurred in 7,000 out of the 100,000 people." 
Other studies show that people who were exposed long term to air pollution had reduced lung function growth, links with lung and bladder cancer, low birth-weight babies, links with autism where mothers were exposed to air pollution during pregnancy, and an accelerated onset of dementia. 

The data was signed by 200 Sydney doctors, the Australian Medical Association and the Asthma Foundation and dispatched to the state government. "They ignored everything we said," Dr Nassar simply states. 
"It's like asbestos - there's no safe level of exposure. There are National Environment Protection Measures guidelines and they dropped their safe levels recently. But as of today, all the evidence points to no safe level." 

While filtering emissions is widely regarded as cutting toxic particulate matter by 90 to 95 per cent and seen as the world's best practice for tunnel ventilation, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) says it's not effective. 
"Ventilation outlets are designed to effectively disperse emissions high in the air where they are diluted with negligible impact on air quality, similar to other tunnels in Sydney including Lane Cove Tunnel, the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and the Eastern Distributor," says an RMS spokesperson. 
"Based on this design, as well as from existing research, filtration would not provide any measurable improvement to air quality in the surrounding communities." 

While filtering emissions is widely regarded as cutting toxic particulate matter by 90 to 95 per cent and seen as the world's best practice for tunnel ventilation, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) says it's not effective. 
"Ventilation outlets are designed to effectively disperse emissions high in the air where they are diluted with negligible impact on air quality, similar to other tunnels in Sydney including Lane Cove Tunnel, the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and the Eastern Distributor," says an RMS spokesperson. 
"Based on this design, as well as from existing research, filtration would not provide any measurable improvement to air quality in the surrounding communities." 

It logicises road tunnels improve air quality because some surface road traffic will go into the tunnels and those areas will have reduced pollution. 
However, this is flawed logic, say North Shore residents. 
"Only when pressed will RMS admit there will be an increase in local air pollution in the areas where the tunnels exit and the unfiltered ventilation stacks are placed," says lawyer Georgina Taylor, a Cammeray resident and Northern Residents Tunnels Actions Group spokesperson."We're presuming the reason they won't filter is cost. 
"They claim figures of between $50 million and $100 million for each filtered stack but provide no details on how those costs are sourced. Overseas, the view is that if you can't afford to filter, you can't afford to build a road tunnel." 
Wenona School in North Sydney would be just 200 metres from a stack. Principal Briony Scott says she's "disappointed by the lack of consultation with schools from the RMS and NSW government". 
"We're seeking confirmation from the government they will rule out ventilation stacks near schools. Once we know our children will not be under the shadow of ventilation stacks, we can go back to our core business of educating," she explains. Cammeray's Anzac Park Primary School would be between 150 metres and 380 metres from the nearest stack. The school's PErC president Russell Rigby, says, "If the stacks have to be where they are, filter them. 
"In Hong Kong, Japan and Spain, they're building filtered tunnels - why can't we do the same here?" 
North Shore residents are campaigning to force the NSW government to listen, against the backdrop of Premier Berejiklian's promise in her 2007 election campaign when she was Shadow Transport Minister to filter the M5 and Lane Cove tunnels, and NSW Education 

North Shore residents are worried about the serious health effects three proposed smoke stacks could have on locals. The stacks - planned to be in North Sydney, St Leonards and Artarmon - are set to be erected to serve the $14 billion, six lanes, 13km Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link, which will run from WestConnex at Rozelle to the Warringah Freeway at North Sydney. It will also tunnel under Middle Harbour and join Wakehurst Parkway at Allambie Heights. 
The major issue that has left North Shore locals reeling is the fact the ventilation stacks, which will tower 20 to 35 metres, are being built near the school - potentially even as close as 500 metres. 

Leaked state government cabinet documents reveal the stacks have caused the normally conservative area to contest the proposal vehemently. 
The tunnel blueprint includes placing unfiltered stacks 500 metres from 7,000 school students at Wenona School, Marist College North Shore, Monte Sant Angelo Mercy College, Cammeray's Anzac Park Primary and Crows Nest TAFE. 
If cabinet documents are correct North Sydney resident Shannon Kerr's two children aged 10 and 14 will be playing just 100 metres from the stack proposed to be developed near North Sydney Bowling Club. 
"Their school uses the park for a playground at lunchtime and they'd be breathing in all those pollutants as they played," says Shannon. 

"But it's one of the only green spaces in North Sydney. We'd definitely think about moving if we don't feel we can trust the air we're breathing." 
Health professionals are worried as the shafts will emit fumes regarded as a World Health Organisation (WHO) Class 1 carcinogen. 
An in-depth document cataloguing serious health concerns based on WHO, the American Cancer Society and The Lancet medical journal studies, was compiled in 2014 by North Shore anaesthetist Dr Ray Nassar when stack positions in Wahroonga where he lived were announced for the nine-kilometre NorthConnex tunnel. 

"Air pollution produced by vehicle emissions consist of chemicals including lead and arsenic, which cause cancer, asthma, heart issues, strokes and cardiovascular disease," says Dr Nassar. 
"A 13-year The Lancet study looked at the adverse health effects on people with long-term air pollution exposure, and found deaths occurred in 7,000 out of the 100,000 people." 
Other studies show that people who were exposed long term to air pollution had reduced lung function growth, links with lung and bladder cancer, low birth-weight babies, links with autism where mothers were exposed to air pollution during pregnancy, and an accelerated onset of dementia. 

The data was signed by 200 Sydney doctors, the Australian Medical Association and the Asthma Foundation and dispatched to the state government. "They ignored everything we said," Dr Nassar simply states. 
"It's like asbestos - there's no safe level of exposure. There are National Environment Protection Measures guidelines and they dropped their safe levels recently. But as of today, all the evidence points to no safe level." 

While filtering emissions is widely regarded as cutting toxic particulate matter by 90 to 95 per cent and seen as the world's best practice for tunnel ventilation, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) says it's not effective. 
"Ventilation outlets are designed to effectively disperse emissions high in the air where they are diluted with negligible impact on air quality, similar to other tunnels in Sydney including Lane Cove Tunnel, the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and the Eastern Distributor," says an RMS spokesperson. 
"Based on this design, as well as from existing research, filtration would not provide any measurable improvement to air quality in the surrounding communities." 

While filtering emissions is widely regarded as cutting toxic particulate matter by 90 to 95 per cent and seen as the world's best practice for tunnel ventilation, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) says it's not effective. 
"Ventilation outlets are designed to effectively disperse emissions high in the air where they are diluted with negligible impact on air quality, similar to other tunnels in Sydney including Lane Cove Tunnel, the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and the Eastern Distributor," says an RMS spokesperson. 
"Based on this design, as well as from existing research, filtration would not provide any measurable improvement to air quality in the surrounding communities." 

It logicises road tunnels improve air quality because some surface road traffic will go into the tunnels and those areas will have reduced pollution. 
However, this is flawed logic, say North Shore residents. 
"Only when pressed will RMS admit there will be an increase in local air pollution in the areas where the tunnels exit and the unfiltered ventilation stacks are placed," says lawyer Georgina Taylor, a Cammeray resident and Northern Residents Tunnels Actions Group spokesperson."We're presuming the reason they won't filter is cost. 
"They claim figures of between $50 million and $100 million for each filtered stack but provide no details on how those costs are sourced. Overseas, the view is that if you can't afford to filter, you can't afford to build a road tunnel." 
Wenona School in North Sydney would be just 200 metres from a stack. Principal Briony Scott says she's "disappointed by the lack of consultation with schools from the RMS and NSW government". 
"We're seeking confirmation from the government they will rule out ventilation stacks near schools. Once we know our children will not be under the shadow of ventilation stacks, we can go back to our core business of educating," she explains. Cammeray's Anzac Park Primary School would be between 150 metres and 380 metres from the nearest stack. The school's PErC president Russell Rigby, says, "If the stacks have to be where they are, filter them. 
"In Hong Kong, Japan and Spain, they're building filtered tunnels - why can't we do the same here?" 
North Shore residents are campaigning to force the NSW government to listen, against the backdrop of Premier Berejiklian's promise in her 2007 election campaign when she was Shadow Transport Minister to filter the M5 and Lane Cove tunnels, and NSW Education Cammeray's Anzac Park Primary School would be between 150 metres and 380 metres from the nearest stack. The school's PErC president Russell Rigby, says, "If the stacks have to be where they are, filter them. "In Hong Kong, Japan and Spain, they're building filtered tunnels - why can't we do the same here?" North Shore residents are campaigning to force the NSW government to listen, against the backdrop of Premier Berejiklian's promise in her 2007 election campaign when she was Shadow Transport Minister to filter the M5 and Lane Cove tunnels, and NSW Education

Sign-up for the latest local Deals, Promotions & Events