11 April – Day 28

Friday 11 April

Today’s schedule:



Community and individual presentations

Keith Fitzgerald

Keith Fitzgerald has lived in Bendigo St for 69 years. His family has a long association with the area: his grandparents established themselves in Gold Street, Collingwood 116 years ago; his older brother played 97 games for Collingwood in the 1940s and many family members, including Fitzgerald attended the Gold Street Primary School.

Fitzgerald is speaking on behalf of many of the older residents in Collingwood whose homes will be acquired or subject to impacts during construction and operation.  He says “These residents already endured heartache due to Hoddle St widening and construction of the Eastern Freeway”. “Many are already distressed about being located… uncertainty adds to their distress… These older residents deserve better.”

Fitzgerald shows pictures of cracks caused by the construction of the Eastern Freeway. He says most residents were never compensated for this, although they have had to repair the damage.

Tony Benson

Tony Benson says their house is 35m from a proposed overpass of the East West Link. Benson shows a video of the very slow moving traffic that the East West Link is going to try to get into. He supports his presentation with photographs showing the existing effect of CityLink on overshadowing, security he says “who takes care of properties next to the tollway”

RayleneBensons, Tony’s wife then speaks about their personal circumstances. She says it was a relief when the Government said no decisions would be made on the East West Link until 2017.

Raylene is asking for “compassionate consideration” of their acquisition request. She details their significant personal health issues. She says “We fear our whole future has been caught up in a health and financial vortex not of our making”.

Ande Bunbury

Ande Bunbury is also seeking acquisition. She lives in Gold Street, Clifton Hill. She describes the impass over recommending

She says the project is already taking its toll on her emotionally. Already there have been infringements: LMA delivered the drilling rig outside her home at 3:30AM, the following day her tenant was woken by security guards talking outside their bedroom window in early hours; and bottles of urine were left in her garden because security guards were not provided with toilets.

Bunbury has tried to sell her home with no success, and has already lost $150,000 of value. Houses in the area are now “unrentable … tenants are already leaving”, she says.

“We have large windows facing the road that is being relocated next to my house”. The LMA has told her they wont be able to provide sound protection.

Dr Simon Moodie

Dr Simon Moodie, a distinguished civil and environmental engineer says the “CIS is fundamentally flawed”. He says there is no assessment of options, the discussion of costs and benefits is skewed towards benefits (there no discussion of financial, social or environmental opportunity costs) and the basis for the selection of the proposal is unclear (“seems to be out of thin air”).

Dr Moodie says:

  • “[the] business case is remarkably unclear”
  • “[there is] no discussion of projects with higher benefit cost ratio”
  • “there is no explanation of the benefits of the Public Private Partnership, risk seems to be borne largely by taxpayers … no public sector comparison”
  • “the flaws in this project [the process] are substantial … I would submit that they are irremediable … they cannot be fixed”

Dr Moodie says the project seems to be inconsistent with the principles of the Transport Integration Act: triple bottom line assessment and transparency.

Mara Silvestro

Mara Silvestro is concerned about how close the temporary road will be from her house during construction, she says this is a safety issue.

“If the house is damaged then I will have people coming into my house for repairs”, she says this is a safety issue as well.

“As a property owner I feel my rights have been stripped”

Tom, Paul and Noela Steinfort

The Steinfort’s are locals affected by the proposed East West Link. Paul Steinfort is speaking who is an expert in project management and civil engineering. He says “I was the project manager of the MCG redevelopment. We certainly ran this [the redevelopment] in a much more transparent way than this”

“This project is being rushed without due process and probity”

“Obviously it’s a political project. Its not being done in a rational … process”

“There is a deliberate lack of consultation. It’s a one-way process. It is not transparent.”

Beatka Provis

Beatka Provis is a landscape architect who also works in community development. She is focusing on the consultation process and the impacts on Royal Park and other public open space.

“I believe there has been a real lack of community engagement… with citizens and with councils” She asks why are our comments being sought when the project is already out to tender. She has been told by the LMA that after the CIS there will be no further opportunity for feedback on the detailed design.

She says the engagement with the community and councils is tokenism “We are presented with a book of information … [but] we’re going to build it anyway. It’s already out to tender but you can come and talk about it if you like.”

Of the impacts on public open space “I actually think the project is an international embarrassment”.

Collingwood Historical Society

The Collingwood Historical Society represented today by Janet Taylor and Anne Holmes is concerned about the adverse heritage impacts from the proposed East West Link.

Janet Taylor says the shot tower is much loved, and is a “fine example of a rare and distinctive heritage type”. She says the main threats to the tower are to its landmark status from the flyover and vent stack and any flow-on development, and to the tower’s physical integrity from vibrations and blasting.

Taylor talks about her personal experience of blasting undertaken for the Eastern Freeway “we heard the blasting and then we saw the cracks opening up”. She is concerned about the likelihood of damage to widely spread heritage buildings.

Taylor says the shot tower requires a larger buffer area for its physical protection.

Anne Holmes says the flyover has potential for huge impacts on the east Clifton Hill area. She says the flyover will block and limit views of significant City of Yarra landmarks such as the Collingwood Town Hall, the spires of St Johns, the Shot Tower and Victoria Park.

Holmes talks about Victoria Park being listed on the Heritage Register because of the role it has played in Collingwood “in hard times”.

Holmes talks about impacts on the Gold Street and Clifton Hill West Heritage Precincts. The Society says no alternatives to these impacts have been looked into.

“Why are houses that are over 100 years old going to be demolished for a temporary road that will last only five years”.

The Society also has concerns about impacts on heritage factories such as the Former Box’s Hair Curling Works (1880) and the loss of historic trees in Alexandra Parade including 18 on the draft City of Yarra Significant Tree Register.

“We believe there is no disagreement on the adverse heritage impact this project will bring”, says Holmes.

Mark Metelman

Mark Metelman critiques the traffic modeling behind the link. He also says the East West Link provides connectivity for only one of the six modes of transport in Melbourne.

Metelman details his concerns against the project’s evaluation objectives particularly land use, visual impact, noise, vibration, air emissions and light spill. He also says the following aspects have not been considered:

  • fuel price increases
  • the hidden and growing cost of health issues caused by car dependency
  • the investment of comparable cities in mass transit systems

Tony Marjoram

Professor Marjoram is another distinguished engineer speaking today, he is speaking personally as  a Flemington resident and “concerned citizen”.

He explained the need to design infrastructure for the future, taking into consideration population growth in the inner city, increasing oil prices, climate change and changing transportation needs. He said more roads encourage more cars which results in increased congestion.

Marjoram said that if the project is pushed ahead it will be the main single budget item in Victoria, costing $5,000 per Victorian taxpayer.

Marjoram said there must be an independent review of the need for the East West Link with particular reference to short and long term traffic projections, cost projections, cost/benefit analysis comparing the project with other possible investments such as public transport and 50+year business plan.

Says if the project goes ahead there will be a need to establish an East West Link compensation fund.

Lulzim Allpici

Lulzim Allpici is a Manningham St resident who uses Ross Straw Field most days for recreation. Allpici’s two small children go to playground in Manningham Reserve – won’t be able to do that if the project proceeds. “Other playgrounds we use at Debney Park and Travancore – also won’t be able to go there either”.

Allpici is concerned that Manningham St will have a lot of traffic, or might even be closed.

Their home is two away from last house being acquired. Will be affected by all the noise and dust of construction.

Facing whether we should sell – but won’t get anywhere near what property is worth. So have to stay – but won’t be able to sit outside in our garden, won’t be able to hang clothes outside. LMA said will treat people with dignity but personal experience is opposite – arrogant. LMA open day experts very rude.

Will they give us something back for what we are going to through?

Bianca Merkel

Bianca Merkel is a Hotham St resident. Says it was a political decision to proceed with East West Link, hence the secrecy, race to get this through.

Says there has been total disregard for health – air monitoring done in Alphington. I live in catchment area of vent stack and flyover – I will be forced to move or get sick – sheer negligence.

Talks about the lovely environment of the area and how her neighbourhood will be turned into an interchange. Governments are meant to support healthy communities. Instead it ignores us and destroys our communities.

Bernadette O’Connor

Bernadette O’Connor is a Moonee Ponds resident for 28 years and works in Parkville.

She says the Ormond Rd offramp not subject to any consultation and presented at last minute. No evaluation or modelling re need or impact.

Says there was no modelling or information on noise abatement, No baseline or modelling of air quality. In the Urban Design Framework there is dissonance between what is stated and what is shown.

Says impacts are on some of poorest and most marginalised communities – would not happen in Toorak or Balwyn.

Absence of analysis on cultural heritage – many people coming in off freeway on weekends coming for this culture – which will be destroyed.

Jane Treleaven and Michael Main

We moved to Parkville Gardens because of the natural environment around us – this is what government promised us and still promises those buying into new developments.

The project will wedge us in between flyovers and remove all of our amenities. No impacts appear to have been taken into account. But more than just about us. About communities and their health – which dependent on open green spaces. Have two child care and elderly residents facilities close by.

Says the CIS was not prepared in good faith – and has been an exercise in ticking boxes which it fails to do that in a comprehensive manner.

Rosamund Krivanek

Addresses the issue of transport connectivity. Questions the minimal reduction in travel time by 2031 – say a five or maybe 2 minute travel time saving depending on how many use the road. $6-8bn for this?

And this through making redundant social amenity and space. She says there are many uncertainties – should not proceed on this basis.

Dr Lorraine O’Reilly

Bought in Travancore before this announced and devastated that this beautiful area will now be a construction zone.

She works in Parkville, an area which is world renowned – so unbelievable that the public transport system to get workers and students is only two trams. She says Dublin is half size of Melbourne but has twice the size of underground.

Talks of increased noise and air pollution for next 5 years, increased traffic, loss of amenity.

Stewart Denmead

Denmead has been a resident of Ballarat st for 10 years. He lives about 50 m from proposed portal.

Says his street is currently a dead end with small native garden screen. Many children play there. LMA videos show Ballarat will be through road thus no more children playing but LMA verbally assure that won’t happen.

He is concerned about the potential loss of sound wall, additional construction traffic and resident parking. Concerned at loss of pedestrian access to Clifton Hill at Gold and cycling access.

He says it is unclear whether any compensation for loss of property value, structural damage…

Elizabeth Gherardin

Elizabeth Gherardin is a North Collingwood resident. She is not opposed to development but opposed to the East West Link which is fundamentally flawed – it will have profound impacts on this area.

Reiterates concerns about congestion just being shifted to other parts of Melbourne, Lack of design – will have no say in what the winning bidder puts forward as final design.

Has concerns that the slip lane which allows local traffic in Collingwood to exit onto Hoddle, will be removed to allow for the flyover. If want to travel south and are forced to use Johnston St it is a problem as there is no right turn at Johnston to go south for about 6 hours a day. So will have to go east then south.

She says North Collingwood would be cut off from Clifton Hill amenities.

Dario and Chris Rizio

We are landlocked in Alexandra Pde East. We have beautiful views from our living areas. The Rizio’s say the flyover will be as close to their house as the back wall in the hearing room is from the Committee chair.

They are stuck there now for the duration of construction. Shows before and after visuals of where house is and their views.

Talks about the dangers to them during construction – risks of fire, dangerous goods chemicals only metres from their front door.

Nigel Lewis

Nigel Lewis says his main concern is the Clifton Hill Shot Tower. He has worked for 30 odd years as a heritage consultant. He says the scale and sighting of flyover and vent stack will compromise landmark status of Shot Tower. Shot a Tower is 76 meters. There are views to it from many places eg Kew.

He says the shot tower is very vulnerable to any foundation movements and foundations likely to extend from 1-2 metres from the base.  Blasting most likely because of cost in this area and most likely to impact tower.

Also raised the loss of historical buildings thereby diminishing the context in which the Shot Tower. Should keep tunnelling past this area to further along Eastern Freeway.

Yarra Bend Park – he says construction of Eastern Freeway resulted in considerable degradation. Recommends no further widening of freeway as this would impact on the sensitive area of Dight’s Falls.

He argues that structural impact ratings are too low and completely disagrees with Lovell Chen impact ratings on Shot Tower.

James Turnbull represented by Gadens Lawyers

Highlighted – traffic, noise, air quality and connectivity impacts.

There will be significant impact on local roads – acknowledged by CIS. Closure or diversion of traffic on Wellington St will add to this. Argues local road network will be placed under extreme pressure.

Concerned about the vent stacks, dust impacts rom construction, and increased exposure to car emissions from additional traffic.

Structural damage from vibration and changes to water table. Health impacts of low level vibration (lack of sleep).

Australian Garden History Society

John Dwyer is speaking on behalf of the Australian Garden History Society. Grant says Elms more than 100 years old likely to be removed. He says these Elms are of international significance because there is Dutch Elm disease in rest of world.

Dwyer reminds us that Royal Park has been recommended for inclusion in Victorian Heritage Register. He says the CIS fails to identify impacts on park. Park will be split by Elliott Ave interchanged and it should be removed.

He says the only indigenous vegetation remnant will be destroyed and up to 15 hectares of Royal Park will be used for construction.

There is nothing in the CIS to protect the avenue of elms on Manningham St.

He says the western portal should be moved elsewhere – There is an alternative design which avoids altogether the destructive impacts on Royal Park.

Robin Vowels

Robin Vowels pointed to how previous undertakings in respect of roads were ignored and larger impacts ensued. Vowels shares Royal Park concerns.

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