Menangle home owner frustrated M9 corridor still not gazetted

Frustrated: Menangle's Ray Smith
is angry he still has no idea what's
happening to his property. Picture: Simon Bennett

Frustrated: Menangle's Ray Smith is angry he still has no idea what's happening to his property. Picture: Simon Bennett

Ray Smith has spent the last two years in limbo.

The Menangle resident is one of a group of locals who don't know whether or not their homes will be acquired by the government to make way for a new highway.

The M9 Outer Orbital will link Campbelltown and Penrith, and plans to set aside a corridor have been in the works since 2018.

"In March 2018 Transport for NSW wrote me a letter saying they intended to compulsorily acquire my property, along with a lot of other people's properties," Mr Smith said.

"Then they said I should put a submission in, and sent another letter saying I was still in the corridor, but it wouldn't be gazetted until after further consultation.

"Later I got another letter saying they were confident they might be able to avoid my property entirely."

Mr Smith said the conflicting messages, without any definitive answers, had left him unsure of the future.

"I still don't know what's going on with the gazettal, and it's been more than two years," he said.

"It's just not good enough. It's gone on for far too long."

Mr Smith said plenty of others were in the same boat as him, their lives on pause while they waited for the government to confirm the highway corridor.

"You go to bed of a night worrying about what's going to happen," he said.

"I've got ten trees that I want to plant, but I'd rather take them with me if I've got to get out."

The Advertiser asked the office of NSW Minister for Transport Andrew Constance when people like Mr Smith would know for certain if the government intended to acquire their houses, and when the corridor would be finalised.

However, Mr Constance's office instead passed the inquiry to Transport for NSW, who responded with a statement.

"Maps were published in 2018 for consultation showing a recommended alignment for the Outer Sydney Orbital (which would encompass the M9 and a dedicated freight rail line)," the statement read.

"There are still some opportunities to refine the corridor alongside land use planning that is taking place across western Sydney and Transport for NSW is responding to wider community input to achieve best outcomes.

"While investigations are ongoing, engagement with the community will continue. Transport for NSW is updating landholders as corridor refinements are made.

"Once corridors are finalised, the community will be informed of the final corridor."

Mr Smith said he'd been trying to get a straight answer for years, with no luck.

"I'm starting to think the government bungles everything it touches," he said.

"If I wanted to put my property on the market, I couldn't, with the government saying 'we might want your place, we might not'.

"No one is going to privately buy a property in that sort of state.

"The refusal to gazette this corridor has left all us people in limbo - there's about 200 of us.

"It's just not good enough for this to keep going on and on and on."

Wollondilly MP Nathaniel Smith did not respond to Advertiser questions before deadline.

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