The spokesman said the revised document “does not prevent any party from making further claims in the future if required”.
Balmain Greens MP Jamie Parker said the decision acknowledged that “gag orders are an unreasonable and heavy-handed tactic to use against families who have been subjected to intolerable noise and disturbance”.
But he raised concerns the changes had possibly not been extended to all forms of respite, such as alternative accommodation, and the contractor was “still issuing what amounts to a media gag order” in some cases.
The matter was raised at a budget estimates hearing last week, when Transport for NSW’s deputy secretary of infrastructure and place, Camilla Drover, said the document had been updated for headphones and vouchers.
Ms Drover said there were “different deeds depending on what mitigation measures are being offered to the community” and she “would be surprised if there are gags, as you say”.
“We did speak to [the joint venture contractor] about amending a deed for devices and vouchers which are modest in nature … It is now just a receipt of the goods as opposed to a confidentiality agreement.”
Later, Ms Drover said: “We also requested that the deed poll relating to accommodation not be used any further until we have done a review, particularly looking at the confidentiality obligations of that deed.”
During an earlier budget estimates hearing, Ms Drover said the joint-venture contractor was required to meet the conditions of approval for the project, which included mitigating the impacts of construction noise.
“The contractor needs to meet its obligations … there was no involvement of Transport [for NSW] in those deeds.
“In fact, that media [coverage of the deed polls] did generate more awareness that those headsets were available, and we have actually had an uptake in the community of those noise-cancelling headsets.”
Mr Parker is urging the government to ban the use of similar agreements for residents who will be affected by future transport and road projects, such as the Western Harbour Tunnel and the Sydney Metro West rail line. Transport for NSW did not respond to a question on the issue.
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