‘It’s an ecological wasteland’: offsets for Sydney toll road were promised but never delivered

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The M7 was supposed to be offset by environmental protection 15 years ago. Leaked documents show that never happened

Western Sydney has seen some of the most intensive urban development in Australia in the past 20 years – and what’s known as “conservation offsets” have been used as a bargaining chip to make this rapid construction of new residential suburbs and infrastructure more palatable to the public.

But an investigation by Guardian Australia has found at least two instances where the offsets never eventuated, in one case 20 years after they were first proposed.

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