Wollondilly Council to seek more information about M9 Outer Sydney Orbital

The Macarthur section of the recommended M9 Outer Sydney Orbital route as found on the on the Transport for NSW website. Picture: Transport for NSW
The Macarthur section of the recommended M9 Outer Sydney Orbital route as found on the on the Transport for NSW website. Picture: Transport for NSW

Residents along the proposed route for the M9 Outer Sydney Orbital are still in 'limbo' waiting for more information about the proposed road.

Wollondilly Council is hoping to get some answers for concerned locals about the controversial road.

Councillor Judith Hannan raised a notice of motion at a recent council meeting to ask for a report on the M9 to be brought to the council.

The notice was supported unanimously.

"A couple of residents have been asking me about it," she said.

"They have heard rumours of the Department of Planning holding discussions about the road further south but there has been no community consultation up here yet."

When the road was first gazetted in 2018 residents across Macarthur were outraged.

The Department of Planning held meetings with the community which packed out local venues.

It was later announced that the proposed route was likely to change following the public outcry.

Cr Hannan said she hoped the department had learnt its lesson.

"They need to talk with our community now," she said.

"People want to know where it is going, how it will impact them, should they move or will this keep affecting their land value - they have so many questions and they just want transparency.

"They only need to look at the distress that was caused last time.

"Look at how many people packed out the Camden Civic Centre and the Mount Hunter Community Hall - there were people in tears.

"We understand that the government needs to build these roads but stakeholders and community members should be engaged the entire way."

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

The Advertiser spoke to Menangle's Ray Smith earlier this month.

He 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," Mr Smith 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."

Wollondilly mayor Mayor Matthew Deeth said he was confident that the corridor preservation team had learned their lesson about community engagement.

"I think they learnt a lot about what they will do differently next phase of the M9," he said.

"I am optimistic that the next stage of community consultation will be better."