WITH Westconnex and its tentacles there is nothing in it but grief and loss of market value for the community.
Perhaps the avenue of a class action could be explored to seek a more equitable settlement?
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BUSINESS OWNERS FACE COMPULSORY ACQUISITION OF THEIR PROPERTIES FOR F6 EXHAUST STACK
Tyre shop owner Barry Stanley, whose property is to be compulsorily acquired so an F6 exhaust stack can be built, says, “It is like someone has taken my life away from me”.
Tyrepower is one of five businesses in West Botany Street, opposite Rockdale Bicentennial Park, which will have to make way for a 10-storey ventilation outlet.
“We have been here 31 years and it’s a local landmark,” Mr Stanley said. “People know us as ‘The Irishman’s tyre garage’.
“My uncle Evan Hughes was here originally and I bought it from him.”
Mr Stanley said the first he knew of the property acquisition was when Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) officers called on the businesses.
“I was told, ‘We have funding to acquire the buildings – you have got one and a half years to get out of here’,” he said.
“They said I could take it to court, but I would lose.”
Mr Stanley said it would be impossible to find a comparable property with the price RMS was likely to pay.
“We have a lot of passing traffic, easy access and good parking,” he said.
“To get a similar position, I would need to buy two properties – one for the factory and one to provide parking.
“I expect I will lose half my business by having to relocate.
“This is not like a hair salon, where you might go once every one or two months.
“Our customers may only come once a year and, when they do, they will find us gone and think we have closed altogether.”
P & C Joinery owner Peter Simpson, who has operated from West Botany Street for 20 years, is also unhappy.
“I don’t know why they need to put a ventilation stack here or even why a tunnel is needed when the road reservation has been in place for decades,” he said.
(This story originally appeared in the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader.)