27 March – Day 18

Thursday 27 March

End of day

Andrew Saunders representing the residents of Council St Clifton Hill

Andrew began by introducing the site which runs parallel to the north of Alexander Pde. He mentioned it is a quiet area with homes, schools and parks. The residents of Council St are concerned by the noise impact of the toll road both during the construction and operation.

Andrew highlighted that during construction noise is being left to the contractor to monitor. He called for a regulatory authority to regulate the noise.

Once the East West Link is in operation Andrew asked for clarification of what will replace the buildings that currently run along Alexander Pde. Andrew highlighted that these buildings currently act as a sound barrier. As they are going to be demolished for the tunnel, Andrew wanted to be given insight into what would go there after construction.

Andrew also called for an emergency management plan to be put in place in relation to the exhaust fans. He warned of the potential threat to health that could derive from fumes coming out of the fan if there was a fire or other serious incident in the tunnel.

Michelle Quigley SC representing SPI Powernet (SP AusNet)

Quigley presented the main concerns of SPI Powernet (SPI). She called the CIS seriously inadequate with neither the assessment or response adequate to the impacts the EWL will have on SPI assets.

SPI operate the West Melbourne electrical station located in section 5 of the project. A section of Part B of the project will run over the station. SPI was due to commence expansion of the station in November. This work has been halted due to the East West Link proposal as the expansion can not happen as planned with the new road running above the site. Quigely explained that the SPI expansion is required to meet the energy needs of parts of Melbourne’s CBD and surrounding north and west suburbs. The impact of this delay is not only a huge business impact to SPI but one that could result in economic and social impacts for Melbourne as a whole.

One solution to this problem would be for SPI being able to acquire VicTrack land adjacent to the electricity station. This was complicated by the land being contaminated and a lack of willingness to accept responsibility for the contaminated land’s removal.

SPI’s underground gas pipe that runs from Brunswick to Richmond is another asset that crosses the path of the proposed East West Link. This underground gas asset poses a community and economic risk if not adequately considered through the construction process. Quigley noted that it was expected that the gas assets would need to be shifted however there had not been adequate information for SPI to begin the required process.

Quigley raised concerns about vibrations from construction and the potential to cause a blackout. She reminded the panel of the blackout that effected the northern suburbs of Melbourne last year.

Another SPI assets that would be impacted is the Fisherman’s Bend transmitter. This transmitter needs to be relocated which was considered possible if the LMA would be clearer about the ultimate project design. Future placement of the transmitter was obviously also contingent on the final alignment of the road.

Quigley used different methods to illustrate the incompatibility of the SPI expansion and the EWL project Part B. One illustration was via a youtube clip of ‘dancing electricity’ (https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/1450250c78210c61) .  The clip was intended to show the risks within the plant – that could easily be of danger to other construction near by.

Before lunch

After the break LMA discusses alternatives proposed for the intersection at Hoddle Street. They say it is a difficult intersection to design because of level differences and the number of connections. LMA says the flyover is required to cater for traffic volumes, having regard to all movements at the intersection.

The next issue discussed by LMA is the suggestion by submitters to move the portal to the East of Hoddle St, 300 metres to the East of the railway bridge. LMA is concerned that under this proposal there would still be a need for separate portals at Hoddle St and is not in favour of this proposal.

12pm update

Darebin City Council

The officer speaking for Darebin City Council says Darebin has been opposing the proposing East West Link in its various forms since 2008 and cites key impacts on Darebin as:

  • lack of ability to fund other transport projects such as grade separations, Melbourne Metro and other sustainable transport upgrades
  • five years of disruption will set back work on other sustainable transport modes
  • loss of open space in Royal Park, which residents enjoy.

Darebin also highlighted missed opportunities to improve cycling, pedestrian and public transport links and the potential impacts from traffic avoiding tolls on Heidelberg Road, Chandler Highway.

Moreland City Council

Craig Griffiths, from Moreland City Council starts by acknowledging the Wurundjeri People as the Traditional Owners of the land we are meeting on and the land affected by the proposed East West Link [which makes me, Petra Stock, updating the blog for today, wonder why the Assessment Committee doesn’t start each day with the acknowledgement].

Like Darebin, Moreland City Council has been opposing the proposed East West Link since 2008 and refutes LMA’s claim that the proposed road will ease congestion.

Moreland’s key criticisms include:

  • Concerns with the traffic modeling
  • Local traffic impacts
  • Road noise impacts, particularly nighttime levels
  • Loss of recreation facilities, such as Holbrook reserve
  • Impacts on public transport and the cycling network.

Traffic modeling and local impacts: Griffiths talks about the propensity for inaccurate road volume forecasting for roads – non tolled local roads tend to be underestimated, whereas demand for tolled roads is generally overestimated to assist the financial case. Griffiths talks about the flow-on effects experienced after CityLink for local roads in Moreland, especially due to rat running. Moreland residents continue to endure … “further traffic spill impacts” from CityLink due to motorists avoiding tolls. Moreland raises concerns about the lack of modeling for variable tolls, particularly once peak capacity is reached.

Griffiths asks why VicRoads has not been asked to peer review the traffic modeling and business case for the proposed East West Link to provide greater certainty to the public.

Moreland supports Moonee Valley City Council’s position that the Ormond Road off-ramp should be deleted from the design (O’Brien’s proposed alternative plan with no Ormond Road off-ramp).

Griffiths refutes the LMA assertion that traffic volumes on Brunswick Road, Brunswick West would be reduced. Traffic levels on Brunswick Road, in Brunswick West are currently approximately 28,000 vehicles per day with a service level equivalent to D, and sometimes experiences long queues. Brunswick Road is designated by VicRoads as a major cycling link, so any increases in traffic will impact on cycling.

Noise impacts: Moreland notes the noise levels adopted by the proposed East West Link, mirror the VicRoads guidelines. The VicRoads guidelines do not consider noise generated between 12pm and 6am, when noise levels have the greatest potential to impact on sleep. Nightime noise guidelines in NSW and the World Health Organisation identify the health impacts caused by levels over 40dB, particularly on children.

Moreland says the current VicRoads guidelines “completely fail to provide adequate protection for people living near roads”. Griffiths talks about the lived experience for people around Glenroy from the Western Ring Road. Noise mitigation discussions with VicRoads and the consortium failed to achieve any mitigation, despite numerous complaints from locals. Noise tests for Glenroy showed that the highest readings occur where there are new elevated viaducts. Sites with a high daytime noise reading also had high nighttime readings, with most above 57dB.

Moreland says a broader section of the community will be negatively affected by traffic noise from the proposed East West Link and expects further issues due to significant traffic likely to be generated when the fresh fruit and vegetable markets are moved.

Recreation facilities: Holbrook reserve, located just west of CityLink. LMA intends to aquire 14% of the reserve. Supports cricket and soccer at all levels. Moreland says the pavilion within the reserve has been recently upgraded (following a fire), however LMA describes the building as a “dilapidated” in the CIS. 92 trees anticipated to be lost at a value of $328,000. Difficult to put a value in lost amenity and opportunity for physical recreation.

Public Transport impacts: Moreland seeks clear information on the disruption to the Upfield Rail Line and the route 55 tram. Griffiths says that when the Upfield rail line was disrupted for 10 months for CityLink construction at Flemington Bridge, a temporary rail link was established for the duration. The temporary link together with replacement buses showed disruption could be minimized. Moreland expects that disruption to the Upfield Rail Line and the route 55 will cause significant increases on the route 19 tram service.

Griffiths asks why Yarra Trams have not provided a comprehensive strategy for improving the tram lines in conjunction with the East West Link and notes the Upfield line has been identified as the preferred alignment for future high speed rail service.

Cycling: Moreland is committed to a superior bicycle network and has 97km of cycling routes. The proposed cut and cover “will render the capital city trail unusable for up to 4 years”. Moreland says that an alternative cycling route should be established in advance to retain connectivity.

3 Comments on “27 March – Day 18”

  1. John Westwood March 28, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    I can’t find the youtube clip of ‘dancing electricity’ which QC Michelle Quigley used and listed as (https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/1450250c78210c61) .”The clip was intended to show the risks within the plant – that could easily be of danger to other construction near by.” Cheers, John Westwood.

    • roseiser March 29, 2014 at 12:16 am #

      Thanks John – we are trying to locate.

      • John Westwood March 29, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

        Thankyou, Rose, I’ve been transcribing and inverting what I believe to be your notes into bite sizes, for the East West Link Action Group because some are presenting at the Hearing. Cheers, John.

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