National Parks Association of NSW
23 August 2001

The National Parks Association of NSW is concerned about plans announced today to tunnel under Land Cove River within Lane Cove National Park.

A tunnel under the national park, rather than a bridge over it, is now proposed.

"Construction impacts will be major, as the new rail tunnel will require a ‘cut and cover’ operation," said Mr Andrew Cox, NPA Executive Officer.

"Digging of the tunnel will carve a deep channel through bushland and parkland in the Lane Cove Valley, still destroy sensitive areas on the banks and disrupt the ecology of the Lane Cover River."

"A fire escape tower and emergency exhaust stack may be sited above the ground in the national park."

"NPA has proposed an alternative that has not been taken up by the NSW Government," said Mr Peter Caldwell, NPA Sydney Branch President.

"The final section of the Parramatta-Chatswood rail link from Macquarie Park should cross the Lane Cove River near Epping Road Bridge, then tunnel to join the North Shore Railway between Artarmon and St Leonards as a "Y-junction" allowing trains to head either north or south."

"Part of this tunnel could be shared with the proposed road link between the M2 and Gore Hill Freeway, hence saving costs," said Mr Caldwell.

"This would not impact on Lane Cove National Park, provide a more efficient, faster alternative to reach the city from the west, and better serve the expanding employment areas of Artarmon, West Lane Cove Industrial Area, St Leonards and North Sydney. Chatswood is not an expanding employment area, and the proposed UTS station is unnecessary, extremely expensive and likely to receive little usage."

"This proposal is supported by Ku-ring-gai Council, Ryde Council, Friends of Lane Cove and Guardians of Lane Cove National Park, a coalition of community and environment groups."

"The Government is yet to respond to NPA’s well-thought-out proposal made in its response to the EIS in March 2000."

"We seek the Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning’s support for the ‘Y-junction’ proposal to avoid damage to Land Cove National Park, reduce costs and create efficiencies and added benefits for public transport," concluded Mr Caldwell.

Contact: Andrew Cox 9299 0000 or 0438 588 040

Peter Caldwell 9439 4915

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