Residents to front NSW light rail inquiry

Residents who feel they’ve been pushed aside as Sydney’s controversial light rail project is constructed will have their voices heard in parliament.

The NSW parliamentary inquiry into the delayed project will continue on Wednesday with local residents and businesses set to appear.

Kensington resident Diana Argirellis, whose home backs on to a new tram stabling yard, said her new neighbour was “noisy, lit up in a way to mimic the sun … and completely inconsiderate of our needs as residents”.

She also criticised the rail builders for installing “the ridiculous units on our walls to draw in fresh air” and some door sealer at her home to mitigate noise.

“My seven-year-old could come up with a better solution!” Argirellis said in her submission to the inquiry.

“Throughout the process to build the yards, there have been various changes and amendments made to accommodate the needs of the project, and none for us.”

Surry Hills cafe owner Emanuel Tzirtzilakis is expected to tell the inquiry the construction has cost him between $240,000 and $320,000 and led to depression and suicidal thoughts.

The managing directors of two companies that make up the consortium responsible for the project are also expected to appear.

Alstom Transport Australia managing director Mark Coxon and Transdev Sydney managing director Brian Brennan are scheduled to face questions from the upper house committee tasked with investigating the project.

The light rail was meant to be finished in 2019 but main contractor ALTRAC told the NSW government in April the new completion date was March 2020.

The project was originally budgeted to cost $1.6 billion before a $500 million blowout.


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