Racegoers abuse local protesters

People holding protest posters beside the road

Community rallies against East West Link

A young man dressed in a bright pink suit leant his head out of a slowly moving taxi.  He yelled loudly: “F__k you!”

The 200 Derby day roadside protesters responded with smiles – although a local government councillor returned fire: “Hey mate, you’ll lose twice” at the races and with an $8b tunnel.

Organisers of the  Racecourse Rd protest against the East West Link, the Flemington Association, said their suburb was hardly mentioned in the Comprehensive Impact Statement about the project released by the State Government on Thursday.

Megan, a Liberal voter, said she was “sick to death of Flemington being treated as the Cinderella suburb”.  She said she was protesting about the “uglification of Flemington”.

“I understand the proposal, but if they thought more laterally about a solution, they would find it.”

Another local, Alex Swain, was concerned about about the destruction to the parks he visits with his children – particularly Debney’s Park over which four new lanes of tollroad will be constructed.

“If the tunnel has to be built, why take such a destructive option,” he said.

Racegoers offered some support to the protest by tooting their horns, but others yelled further abuse. “Seriously, you people are dickheads,” yelled one passer-by.

President of the Flemington Association Les Potts understood arguments for the proposed tunnel, but said there needs to be “equitable impost” on communities affected.  He said he was concerned about the impact on the community gardens, high rise flats, and the heritage value of the area.

Former Yarra Mayor Alison Clarke, an employee at the local secondary college, joined the protest and said her views haven’t changed. “They can polish it all they want, but it is still a turd.”

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