Saving Wolli Creek – Part 2: From the Fig Street confrontation to the Kirby Inquiry

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In Part 2: From the Fig Street confrontation to the Kirby Inquiry, we look at the successful 1974 inner-city revolt against the NSW Department of Main Roads’ radial freeway plan for the Los Angelisation of Sydney, and the department’s subsequent attempt to restart their program by prioritising their 1945 plan for an 8-lane freeway down the Wolli Creek Valley. Features footage of the violent September 1974 confrontations at Fig Street Pyrmont shot by legendary Australian documentary filmmaker Tom Zubrycki.

The Wolli Creek Valley might have been an 8-lane freeway, but it was saved by Sydney’s longest conservation fight.

The valley is inner south-west Sydney’s environmental gem – a tranquil haven in a busy city, preserving an irreplaceable remnant of the pre-European landscape.

For 40 years a struggle over Sydney’s future has been fought out here, a struggle that isn’t yet over. It’s been a battle between freeways and public transport; between open space and over-development; between urban sprawl and consolidation; between high-carbon- and sustainable futures.