Edward Mandla
Clover Moore spending taxpayer money on anti-WestConnex groups

Published On: 23/06/2016

LORD Mayor Clover Moore is funding Greens-aligned anti-WestConnex groups that have helped organise a series of protests attended by police, including last month’s disgraceful council meeting where administrator Richard Pearson was spat on.

Ms Moore’s City of sydney has spent $411,571 of ratepayers’ cash campaigning against WestConnex, despite only a small part of the $16.8 billion motorway being in its boundaries.

Funding includes $15,000 for WestConnex Action Group (WAG) to “raise community awareness” and $800 to host a “family picnic day and tree wrapping”.

WAG members played a key role organising the May 24 Inner West Council protest, where cartoonist Nicky Minus spat at Mr Pearson and riot police attended, cheered on by Greens MPs.

Ms Minus pleaded guilty to offensive conduct and was given an 18-month good ­behaviour bond. WAG also praised two protesters charged with trespass in April after occupying a Haberfield home being ­demolished to make way for WestConnex.

The $15,000 grant to WAG has been approved by City of Sydney but is yet to be received by the organisation.

“The intention is it will be spent on things like banners, public meetings, leaflets to raise awareness of the impact of WestConnex because it is one of the biggest issues in our community,” a WAG spolesperson said.

City of Sydney has also given $25,000 to No WestConnex: Public Transport, an incorporated association ­behind a series of protests and “sit-ins” police have also attended.

There has also been $10,000 given to the Newtown Precinct Business Association and $56,000 spent on a flyer branding WestConnex a “disaster”.

Ms Moore has also spent $274,909 commissioning reports, all critical of WestConnex, since 2014.

Councillor Edward Mandla said the spending “skirted the boundaries of organisational decency” while Councillor Christine Forster said it was an “outrageous” amount of money “wasted on scaremongering”.

Clover Moore spending taxpayer money on anti-WestConnex groups

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