14 April – Day 29

Monday 14 April

Today’s schedule:

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 9.12.16 am

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 9.12.50 am

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 9.13.01 am

Preliminary:

The following points were made:

Data for Alexandra Pde show traffic for 2013 -14 is increasing.

There is conflict between Transport Integration Act and Major Projects Facilitation Bill.

There is no Transport Plan – The current Govt believes that Plan Melbourne is sufficient. The Act does not mandate a transport plan as these other plans can cover transport.

Individual presentations

Abdikashur Qalinle (878):

On behalf of the Flemington Residents Community Area, Qalinle requested funds to upgrade the community centre in another area and to include a multi-purpose fitness centre. Many families use rely on the centre and LMA must provide for these families.

 

Gary Dickson (739):

Dickson lives just west of the CityLink freeway and has lived there since before CityLink was built.

He is concerned about the traffic hazard presented by the connections with Ormond Rd; increased traffic on Mount Alexander Pde; air and water pollution.

The distance between Mount Alexander Rd on-ramp and the Ormond Rd is only a little over 1km. There will be conflict between cars entering Mount Alexander Rd and  those wanting to exit at Ormond Rd.

The tolls have created much higher levels of traffic on Mt Alexander Rd with people trying to avoid the tolls. He suggested that the toll be removed before Moreland Rd in order to encourage cars off the local streets. The extra traffic lights at Ormond Rd will also add to the traffic on local streets.

Air and Water pollution is fairly straightforward – more cars will mean more pollution. Noise will increase dramatically and as we do not know the elevations it could be that people have the ramps running at eye level. Moonee Ponds Creek has been embraced by the community and deserves more love.

 

Heather Reva Sharp (798):

The East-West toll road will not alleviate Hoddle St congestion. Toll avoidance will lead to a great deal of traffic on local streets in Clifton Hill and North Fitzroy.

 

Kenneth Duxbury (809):

Duxbury lives in East Kew and is a retired town planner and landscape architect. He has done a lot of work to recover the damage done by freeways – both around the South Eastern and the Eastern Fwy. Land that lies along side freeways becomes polluted. He doesn’t feel confident that our environment will recover.

We have seen City of Port Philip consider expanding St Kilda junction and what has occurred is that traffic is decreasing while demand for public transport is increasing so it was prudent that they did not push ahead with the road expansion of St Kilda junction and have blind faith in traffic projections.

An international text book published in 2012 includes Ross Straw Field and the wetlands as a best practice for urban ecosystems.

 

Terry Croft (767):

Croft raised queries about the figures in traffic modeling: Veitch Lister Consulting has overestimated the traffic volumes by 40%.

As a civil engineer, he ahs presented an alternative scheme which would be $5b cheaper. It seems that the government wants a project so that it looks like they are doing something.

Taxpayers will have to pay for this and it will cripple the state.

Veitch Lister Consulting released figures for CityLink after CityLink opened. The revised prediction matched usage which makes him question if these calculations were done before the opening of CityLink.

 

Lindis Masterman (784):

Masterman has been a public transport user for 30 years. If you are dependent on public transport due to health access to medical services is incredibly important. This road will make it more difficult for people who can not drive to access health services.

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 12.04.50 pm

Alison Clarke (259 and 1077):  See her presentation here: 140414_AlisonClarke_presentation

Clarke is a business owner in Clifton Hill as well as former Councilor with City of Yarra, and Mayor in 2011. There are well articulated problems with this project however there do not seem to be many benefits. The loss of public space particularly parks will be devastating.

Clarke works at Debney Park High School a large proportion of the students are from the Flemington Flats. Clarke showed a photo from the Flemington Flats showing the sound barrier. The apartment shown is very noisy in that apartment – it is not meant to be noisy but it is. Also things fall off trucks and we are proposing a playground be put under a freeway – Clarke says she hopes that nothing falls on one of her students.

These communities do not have balconies or any open space. These communities are some of our most disadvantaged and it is due to this disadvantage they have not been here voicing their concerns.

Planning is supposed to improve a place not destroy it.

Clarke was able to visit Perth, and showed a video of travel along the Kwinana freeway. She was on the train travelling 120km/hr zooming passed cars on the freeway.

There has been an absence of supporters within this process. Brian Negus being the only one. Interestingly the Royal Automobile Club in Western Australia is advocating for public transport.

We have not had the proper strategic planning required for our city. This project is being implemented and then planning is being retro-fitted to support it.

 

Malcolm Brown (923):

Brown is a medical practitioner and resident from the Manningham Street.  His home will be surrounded by on and off ramps of the new project.

The health implications have not been sufficiently covered. increase in cars has been linked to increases in Cardiac ischaemic events, natural cause death, lung cancer amongst other health issues.

Autism Spectrum Disorder has also been linked to high levels of traffic exposure of parents with the particles in vehicle exhaust having impacts on brain formation.

Margaret Rolfe (897):

Rolfe spoke represented 14 people all living in Flemington. She believed EWL will be seriously detrimental to Flemington. It will spread pollution in the valley of Flemington, will increase noise and air pollution.  Community playgrounds are very important. There will be a loss of parks, which are irreplaceable. There will be an increase in traffic on our arterial roads.

Racecourse Rd is Flemington’s local shopping strip. The traffic is set to increase. There is a low railway bridge, which is the site of a lot of truck accidents. It is the main route to Melbourne Cup and to Melbourne Show, which enormously increase the traffic at certain times.

The construction phase will be very detrimental to Flemington. Consider cost benefits. We will be the losers.

 

Andrew Herrington (384):

See Andrew Herington’s presentations here: 

HERINGTON CLOSING SUBMISSION FINAL

Final Submission combined (1)

Final Submission part 4 UDF

Herington thanked Rosemary Elliott for donating her time to him.  He took a theatrical approach, quoting from Abraham Lincoln, to introduce his strong summary.

Nine score hours ago, this Committee sat down to take evidence on this new freeway, conceived in politics and dedicated to the proposition that individual motorists have a self-evident right to continuous travel regardless of the cost to the public purse or the availability of more effective public transport alternatives.

“Now we find Melbourne engaged in a great civil war, testing whether those rights should remain unchallenged or whether it is time for a new approach to how we build our community.

“Will we see a real Triumph of the City as a human environment with Melbourne retaining its title as the world’s most liveable city? Or will we see the triumph of the motor car”

Herington said there has been an absence of supporters. We have not heard from State Government departments, not from councils in the east who are meant to benefit, not from the Federal Government who has committed to $1.5bill without a business case.

We have heard a consistent message from communities who have come to highlight why they do not want this project built.

“Nearly 1400 community groups and individuals prepared detailed submissions in response to the CIS. Around 210 have presented 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.

“Community members have told consistent tales of significant impacts which have been overlooked or downgraded, a lack of frankness and hollow consultation from the LMA, inadequacies in the CIS and other documentation, confusing and often conflicting information and a lack of transparency.”

I have undertaken a summery of the community submission that includes over 300 reasons why the panel should not advise the Minister to approve this project.

“Are we to follow the dubious economics of road engineers or are we to make a bold statement that in a time of scarce tax payer dollars, decisions must be publicly justified by proven outcomes – and assessed against the alternatives in transparent, public processes.

Infrastructure Australia was set up to do this – but even it does not have the full Business Case and it wasn’t available to provide evidence to this hearing. 

“Thirty-five years ago I worked for the Collingwood and Fitzroy Councils to oppose what was then called the Western Approaches Study for the F19 Freeway. The proposal then was an eight lane surface freeway up Alexandra Parade and through Carlton cutting a swathe through what was depicted as almost slum housing. 

“That freeway was, of course, never built and nobody today would regret that outcome.  That hasn’t stopped Melbourne prospering and growing dramatically in the last 35 years. Traffic on Alexandra Parade grew to capacity and has since slowly declined.  In the meantime public transport patronage has doubled from a post War low of 260 million passengers a year in 1980 to 520 million today.

“I believe the East West Link is another bad idea. It is badly planned and should not be built”

 

Sue Casey and Peter van Leeuwen (1042):

Casey and van Leeuwen are residents of Brunswick.

They said the project will further disadvantage people who are reliant on public transport to get around. It will not help low income earners living in the outer suburbs.

There will be mental health impacts stemming from forcing people to use cars and loss of parkland.

It seems exceptional that there is not consideration of the impacts on the patients and staff or the Royal Children’s Hospital.

The Elliot Ave exit will have a permanent impact on the park, cutting it in two. If this is about east west connectivity there is no need to an exit at Elliot ave.

Royal Park offers many opportunities into the future and should not be destoryed. Also it is a place of history – the starting point of Burke and Wills.

 

Michael Mazur (1086):

When it comes to major infrastructure works the State of Victoria consistently look to private interests.

The government’s commitment to collect tolls for private interests constitutes theft of public property. I have not paid tolls on CityLink as and a result accumulated up to $20,000 in fines and associated costs. Yet, I have never been charged.

 

Urban Camp: Introduced by Jen Kanis Member for Melbourne

Urban Camp have been approached by the LMA and offered compensation. It is near impossible to predict the impact as it is unlikely that the road will reflect the current design.

The hall was erected in 1941. There is about three camps a week as a link between rural and urban Victoria. Than camp has secured bookings into 2015.

The perimeter of the building is only eight meters from the line of construction.

The Linking Melbourne Authority has told the camp they will be able to continue to operate through construction. They have also heard from three different consortia. One of these consortia have told them that the Urban Camp would be a site visit – a statement that was later retracted.

All of the consortia reported to Urban Camp that it would have a significant impact on business with two of the three telling Urban Camp that they would need to close or relocate.

Concerns: sustainability of business, compromised product, brand, general operations. Urban Camp stakeholders will be impacted – schools as well as the various attractions that the students visit while in Melbourne staying at the camp.

There is a great deal of conflicting information.

 

Rohan Dwyer (1094)

Dwyer’s son’s cricket club will be lost and this project will rip the guts out of his community. Sporting clubs help prevent anti social behaviour. Dwyer said the CIS has little or no regard for our community. “Our taxes being used against us.”

Open space has more value than the road. CIS like marketing a sausage sizzle for vegetarians!

Project is self serving for road users, no one else. It will not solve congestion – if you want more congestion build more roads. PT is more equitable. Failure to plan a meaningful divergent society is sad. Please come up with solutions that enhance our society.

We need best practice triple bottom line transparency. Panel should give this 3/10.

 

Margaret Fried (1017)

Fried has a strong sense of connection to community through her walks in Royal Park. She lives in North Melbourne where there is little green spaces. Fried cannot understand how this could happen – it will fragment park. Views from park to city are a feature that make it exceptional. Similar to other great parks eg Hampstead Heath.

This park is a gift and we need more untamed places to enhance our lives.

 

Julie Rudner (1021)

Rudner is a lecturer in Community Planning and Development Latrobe Uni

This is really bad planning: 1950’s solution. Not a project for Victorians. Impacts on regional Victorians ignored. Does not address opportunity costs which can lead to better outcomes. Does not consider movements between regional and metropolitan Melbourne.

Right of all Victorians to have access to a range of transport options.

Ignores increasing ageing population, students, migrants, commuters on V line. Argues for fair and equitable regional transport solutions. Lives in Castlemaine and tells of the paucity of travel options to city. Trying to get people to move to regions but won’t provide means of commuting to city.

*****

The Chair asked how LMA will use 5 hours tomorrow. Morris gave a rough outline – long submission, performance requirements responding to suggestions from city councils and other submitters. Re UDF will do same. Prepared summary of substance of all individual submissions with response – by submitter not grouping issues.  Will talk to benefits and impacts and legal questions. Also to approvals.

*****

And finally, the last community presentations:

Justine Phelan (456)

Phelan owns a house in North Carlton: her 1889 title is deemed to extend to the centre of the earth. She learnt from a third party that the LMA intends to compulsorily acquire these subterranean rights. However she has had no communication from them.

She has concerns about damage to her 150 year old property, not only during blasting and tunnelling but during the operational phase as well. The mortar contains very little lime and amounts to friable sand. Because of the current heritage overlay it is difficult to fortify the house against structural damage.

After an assault by plane tree roots on her foundations she sought expert advice which indicated the house would be highly vulnerable to damage from vibration. The same presumably applies to neighbouring houses of similar age.

The LMA refers to the benefits the project may bring to Alexandra Pde, but provides no detail or drawings of what this might consist of.

She requests that the Minister for Planning remove Yarra Council’s heritage overlay from affected properties so they be prepared to withstand vibration and regenerated noise, and that the LMA be required to undertake any such works. She asks the Committee instruct them to prepare for public display and comment plans for managing construction and vibration, and for traffic calming works and the ‘boulevard’ treatments of Alexandra Pde and Princes St.

 

Dan Musil (1357)

Musil provided a survey of many points already raised by others. Transport planning should just be about fixing problems like easing congestion, but should be about choosing what the city is going tobe like. He fears the EW Link is nothing more than a stranded asset in waiting. We can’t rely on the availability of fossil fuel into the future.

 

Omni Ioannou brought Paul Mees back into the room again, finishing with a quote from his Transport to Suburbia. She recounted her alarm upon first looking at the CIS in the state library. Over her lifetime she has seen one road project after another promise to fix congestion and improve productivity, none of which succeeded in those aims. She would rather someone else drive her where she wants to go: she would prefer to go by public transport. But because of its poor state it can take so long to get anywhere. Given that time is such a priority now that is a serious disincentive.

Although the CIS celebrates the benefits intended for ‘all Victorians’ it fails to make any reference to socio-economic differences among transport users. Car driving comes with a host of added expenses that mean public transport is more affordable for low-income travellers. The pouring of tax funds into this project would mean abandoning them in favour of those better off.

 

Tom England (262)

England was the final individual presenter. He and his partner live on the west side of Moonee Ponds Creek. The City Link viaduct is 60 metres away from them and currently is screened by a substantial barrier of trees. The new viaduct of Part B would be immediately opposite their apartment, at a distance the LMA told them of 12 metres but in fact it turns out to be only eight. Not only will this new viaduct bring a severe increase in noise from its own traffic, the loss of the line of tree will further expose the apartment to the noise from City Link. Further there would be physical danger in the event a vehicle goes over the edge — typically the dwellings across the road have balconies and bedrooms that would be directly facing the new viaduct.

Like so many others the couple here are victims of the project whose concerns receive short shrift because they lie outside the project boundary. According to that arbitrary excision they are “unaffected.” At the time they were looking into the purchase there was no mention anywhere that Part B was on the drawing board. Now that it has been sprung on them they are in a terrible financial bind. If the project proceeds, they will have negative equity in their apartment and will at a minimum be handcuffed to it for 7-9 years at a minimum. Even then they will come away with a loss.

This is exacerbated by the arbitrary and unexplained inconsistencies in the way people are treated: all the other residences in the street would be just under a metre further away from the viaduct, but they have been acquired. But through all this the government that means effectively to strip them of their life savings refuses to enter into discussions, while the position of the LMA is that they have no power to do anything.

The last day of individual presenters has finished. Curiously there were quite a few no-shows this afternoon. This has not happened on any previous day, but may not be a such bad thing — inevitably presenters had started to cover the same ground. Still some new points were raised.

Advertisements

2 Comments on “14 April – Day 29”

  1. J Taylor April 15, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    The blog has been an amazing resource. Many thanks to all concerned

    • roseiser April 15, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

      Thanks for reading. It has been our pleasure to put it all on the record.
      Rose

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: