COMMUNITY SAY HUNDREDS OF REASONS FOR PANEL TO SAY NO TO THE EAST WEST LINK

Media release: Coalition of community groups

After 30 days, the public hearings on the East West Link project will close today.

Community members will meet at 1:15pm in Treasury Gardens opposite the hearings to mark the final day.

Nearly 1,400 community groups and individuals prepared detailed submissions in response to the CIS.

Around 210 made oral presentations to the committee, expanding on their original submissions and giving graphic evidence.

Community members, who have their own jobs and family responsibilities, have dedicated many hours to trying to understand the dozens of expert witness reports, and the 500 tabled documents of disconnected information.

Reasons to say no

Throughout the hearings, community members and Councils have put forward hundreds of reasons why the proposed East West Link is poorly designed and the approvals shouldn’t be granted.

These reasons include:

Process

  • Absence of a Business Case
  • LMA is relying on Eddington: counsel for LMA, Tweedie, says it is “not incumbent on CIS to reproduce Eddington or prove again what has been comprehensively proven in Eddington”
  • The process has lacked rigour, consultation and there are many inaccuracies in the CIS
  • The CIS is inadequate overall and fails to meet the requirements of the Transport Integration Act
  • The LMA sought to restrict the committee through a narrow interpretation of the scope of the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act
  • A consortium involved in developing the reference design included: representatives from John Holland, Leighton,  Dragados,  SKM,  AECOM and was directed by Malcolm Short of John Holland.  Morris named specific contributors: John Welsh of Leighton, Barry Cox of Leighton,  Brian Fittz of SKM, Phillip Health SKM, Jeff Keys of AECOM and LMA personnel. They were supported by other members of their firms
  • The performance requirements would have to be enforced at VCAT
  • There has been no detailed consideration of alternative designs or routes, which would avoid or minimise impacts.

Traffic

  • The East West Link will not deliver commuters better travel conditions during peak hours
  • Figures showed only 6000 more trips per day with the East West Link
  • Figures put forward show if the East West Link is not built there will be 14.012 million trips per day but if we invest $8 billion in road works there will be 14.018 million trips (an increase of 0.04%) – see pages 10 and 11, Technical Appendix E.
  • Traffic volumes on Alexandra Parade in 2031 will be similar to levels today
  • There will be a big increase in traffic on the eastern freeway if the EWL is built.
  • The LMA’s traffic data for Hoddle Street has been inconsistent
  • The Comprehensive Impact Statement avoided discussion on public transport
  • Moonee Valley will be badly impacted but impacts have not been assessed in detail
  • The Ormond Road off-ramp lacked analysis, and is unbalanced – there is no on-ramp
  • Traffic forecasts were untested against toll rates and key public transport projects
  • The LMA data showed more traffic generated by the road proposal
  • Locating Part B to the east of CityLink has not been studied.

Community costs

  • Nine hectares of state significant Royal Park will be damaged, particularly through cut and cover construction. Remnant vegetation, Whites Skink habitat, and the Trin Warren Tam-boor wetlands in Royal Park will be directly impacted
  • The proposed East West Link presents a threat to the animals at Melbourne Zoo with construction activities as close as 20m from the Zoo
  • Cut and cover construction will be 8 metres from Urban Camp
  • Specific community sites will be affected – some would have to close:
    Ross Straw Field, the first baseball field in Victoria, would be lost. The Flemington community centre would be over-shadowed and exist beneath a flyover. The recently completed guide dogs training centre would be unusable after years of fundraising and planning
  • Numerous recreational areas and playgrounds will be negatively affected by direct impacts, loss of trees and vegetation. Much loved community gardens and playgrounds will be lost
  • Adverse impacts on heritage, including Royal Park (including the Australian Native Garden, Anzac Hall, Urban Camp, the Zoo and the park itself), the Shot Tower, Gold Street and Clifton Hill West heritage precincts, Victoria Park, the former Box’s Hair Curling Works and historically significant trees along Flemington Road, in Royal Park and along Alexandra Parade. The National Trust has called the East West Link “one of the most heritage-adverse projects of the last few decades”
  • Moonee Ponds Creek will be covered by two major viaducts – CityLink and the proposed East West Link
  • Clifton Hill Primary School is concerned about exposure to air emissions from the nearby vent stack, especially on children with asthma and respiratory conditions
  • The proposed East West Link interferes with planning for Melbourne’s future electricity supply.

Local impacts

  • The project will directly impact homes and families
  • Homes not being acquired will be badly affected without compensation
  • The tunnel will have an adverse impact on air quality, affecting nearby residents, schools and hospitals. Air quality monitoring has not been undertaken to the same level as for EastLink (which had two years of background monitoring).
  • Businesses and other properties will be acquired and impacted
  • Heritage buildings and trees would be destroyed
  • Sporting clubs would be displaced
  • The EPA would have little scope for demanding higher standards
    The project would only have to comply with Victoria’s noise standards that are weaker than NSW’s
  • Mitigation measures such as noise walls can have a negative impact on community spaces
  • Contaminated soil would be dug out during tunnelling
  • The tunnel is considered to be good urban design focused on minimisation.  The flyovers are not.

 

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One Comment on “COMMUNITY SAY HUNDREDS OF REASONS FOR PANEL TO SAY NO TO THE EAST WEST LINK”

  1. Sean May 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    We don’t need another tunnel to connect eastern freeway and city link that won’t ease the bottleneck of our traffic we need complete the ring road to open up alternative route between east and west we already have incomplete ring road for years I won’t vote Napthine government for this East west tunnel mistake (not even having business case)

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