7 April – Day 24

Monday 7 April

Today’s schedule:

MonAM

MonPM

Community and individual presentations

Metropolitan Transport Forum

Tom Melican, a councilor at Banyule City Council, is chair of the Metropolitan Transport Forum is representing the forum, which is made up of 23 Metropolitan Councils and associated bodies.

He says “Continuous investment in public transport is vital to a modern city”

And highlights that “Currently there is no Victorian public transport plan”

Melican refers to the transport system objectives outlined in the Transport Integration Act 2010. These include:

  • Social and economic inclusion
  • Economic prosperity
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Integration of transport and land use
  • Efficiency, coordination and reliability
  • Safety and health and wellbeing.

He argues the proposed East West Link does not meet any of these objectives.

“We see there is little scope for changes to this project given they [the bidders] are already preparing detailed designs.”

The Forum’s main concern is the lack of a plan for transport in Victoria. He says at the moment, “if we change governments we change projects”

Yarra Environmental Sustainability Network

Jo Southwell is speaking on behalf of the original submission signed by the 40 members of the Yarra Environmental Sustainability Network.

She says research attests to the negative impacts on health from relocation. The negative impacts on people forced to relocated and on the community service organisations include disorientation, grief, anger, alientation from relationships, weakening of social integration, increased morbidity and mortality. She says the coercive nature of involuntary relocation may heighten negative impacts.

She says it is vital that an independent pre-construction assessment of buildings and properties in the vicinity of the project by an independent engineer or surveyor, paid for by the government.  After construction, any damage caused by the contractor should be remedied to the pre-construction condition.

Southwell works for North Yarra Community Health, one of the signatories to the Yarra Environmental Sustainability Network.  Three of five sites for North Yarra Community Health will be impacted by the proposed East West Link. Southwell is concerned about the diminished capacity for community services to operate, both during construction and ongoing.

Yarra Bicycle Users Group

Steven Barnett and Chris Star, co-coordinators of the Yarra Bicycle Users Group are presenting.

Barnett and Star Our primary concern is about transport connectivity. “City of Yarra has one of the highest cycling participation rates in Australia”.

Cycling connectivity has not been adequately addressed. No defined solutions for local interruptions. Barnett says the Traffic Impact Assessment lacks detail re current local and state government plans for cycling. He says the CIS failed to mention that the City of Yarra has an endorsed Bicycle Strategy. The Strategy developed a long term vision and plan for cycling in Yarra.

Massive impacts on north-south cycling routes.

The mention in the CIS of the Eastern Portal impacts on six major on-road and off-road routes, including:

  • Wellington St Copenhagen lanes at Hoddle St intersection.
  • The Main Yarra Trail and Dights Falls area (one of the most popular cycling destinations).

The committee asks, as it has done on a number of occasions whether the group have taken their concerns to LMA. Star responds eloquently and to the point that the group have gone through the CIS and submissions process which she understood to be the official process.

Star says the “capital city trail … must be kept open”.

Friends of Banyule

Denis O’Connell spoke on behalf of the Friends of Banyule – campaigners for green assets of Banyule.

O’Connell highlighted the development of roads in Victoria is occurring at the expense of green areas. He says the proposed East West Link is a massive commitment to car dependency which will trigger further road building projects for the next 10 years. Friends of Banyule say that tollway building is expensive and short term and will make Doncaster Rail and Airport Link less likely.

He says the Transport Integration Act seems to have been abandoned.

O’Connell says the proposed East West Link will lead to massive increases in traffic on roads in Banyule and that the project is not the solution to traffic to airport.

He requests further studies of impact on our local arterial roads.

Public Transport Users Association

Tony Morton, President of the Public Transport Users Association said the association do not support the project, even with their (PTUAs) proposed mitigation measures.

He says the LMA have misconstrued Glaeser’s book “Triumph of the City” and says there is no evidence that new roadways aid agglomeration. Morton says many cities have benefited from the removal of roadways such as Seoul, Portland, Seattle, Boston.

The association says that the benefits of project have been greatly overstated, and it is of concern that the full business case is not public.

Morton says there is little evidence that benefits of previous motorways have been sustained over time (referred to a study by Odgers at RMIT showing dis benefits of motorways).

He says large traffic increases are forecast on roads which feed into the project in Banyule and other areas and that increases in private road traffic will result in delays to freight.

Morton says there has been a modal shift of work travel from roads to public transport in Melbourne and the East West Link will discourage this modal shift.

Improvements of north south public transport claimed for this project could be implemented now, without greatly affecting road transport.

Traffic modelling – The adequacy of the traffic modelling is questioned by the association. Morton cites 2003 NCCCS study showing only 15% of traffic is destined for Citylink or the west, with the balance headed for the city based on number plate survey. He says the LMA relies on modelling rather than number plate survey and there has not been sufficient testing or validation of the model used by LMA.

Local impacts – the association support submissions about adverse impacts on local amenity, including public transport routes.

Morton says the CIS is vague about service disruptions which will be particularly serious for Upfield Rail and 57 tram. Much more detail of mitigation measures is needed. Disruptions to Upfield Train line and 55 tram line for a number of weeks. Previous experience of replacement services have been poor quality.

Morton says LMA should amend the reference design to retain easement for Doncaster rail and redo traffic forecasts to factor in impact of Doncaster rail on traffic.

He says there have been no commitments to increased tram or train running time as part of the project.

Public Transport not Traffic

Cait Jones presented on behalf of the Public Transport not Traffic says the group does not dispute congestion problems in Melbourne, but they do not believe proposed East West Link will solve this problem. Says the CIS and planning process has failed to consider mass transit as a solution to congestion.

She talks about the cost of using a car for commuting versus using public transport and highlights that for households without access to public transport this further exacerbates disadvantaged areas. The East West tollroad will exacerbate Melbourne’s public transport infrastructure gap.

Flemington Road/ Curran Street Residents

Michael Francis is representing 146 residents of Flemington Road and Curran Street.

He says the residents totally oppose the “cultural vandalism” of the proposed East West Link and Elliot Ave offramps as well as cut and cover construction in Royal Park. He says construction of the project will alienate Royal Park from North Melbourne and other communities for a considerable time.

He says “too much of the CIS is vague and deliberately misleading.”

Francis says the residents of Flemington Road and Curran Street were surprised to learn that one third of heritage-protected elm trees will be removed along Flemington Road.

Says it is misleading that the project boundary ends near Dryburgh Street, but that works (shown in green in CIS maps) continue beyond this boundary. There are 66 internationally significant elm trees at risk, as well as one tree which is listed on the nationally significant tree register.

Francis says the project will destroy the most beautiful entry into Melbourne along Flemington Road, “Perhaps well have a couple of cheesesticks instead of a beautiful park”

Talks about Flemington Road already being wide, and difficult for a pedestrian to cross (describes running to beat the red man).

Says North Melbourne was excluded from consultation sessions because they were outside of the project boundary, even though LMA is proposing works outside of the project boundary.

Play Australia

Barbara Champion says Play Australia decided to make a submission on the proposed East West Link because  of the group’s responsibility to comment on projects which impact on UN Convention on Rights of the Child (including a childs right to relax and play). “This project is a fundamental challenge to the childs right to play … and is unacceptable”. She says Flemington housing estate will lose access to their playground in Debneys Park and residents of West Parkville will lose Maningham St playground. She says unstructured play areas such as Royal Park are also important. Royal Park will be fenced off during construction and not be accessible for five years, a childhood. Champion emphasises that kids only have one opportunity to be kids.

The committee asked about the relocation of Debneys Park playground. Champion responds that playspaces take years to develop and cannot easily be removed elsewhere. “A playground is not just a structure… people creating playspaces spend years in community collaboration and consultation.”

Essendon Community Garden

Derek Mortimer represented the community garden. The Essendon community gardens have avoided making comment on the East West Link but has voted against it. The CIS technical appendix: refers to them as an informal group but they are incorporated with committee members who act in the best interests of the members of the organisation.

The garden area will become a construction zone, the off ramp at Ormond Rd will require access to the garden in order to install sound barriers.

After construction they are not sure how much of the garden will be taken up by sound barriers.

Sun and shade: modelling provided to show sound barrier running north south will block sun in mornings and reduce productivity of people’s plots.

Highlighted the psychological effects of gardening – restorative value and socialising.

They want to renew their lease- what’s to become of that leasehold if LMA takes over some of that area?

The community garden has been there since 1978 and its 75 members are mostly elderly or Mediterranean backgrounds others are younger and perhaps rent apartments.

Youlden Parkville Cricket Club

Paul Sinclair: Youlden Parkville cricket club, was established in 1922. The club has 250 members and raises about $90,000 per year. The club made a short film for their 90th anniversary last year. The club is located at north west ovals, Ryder oval. The proposed East West Link Impacts financial viability of volunteer run clubs. Demand pressures are there already – there is a growing population in the area and a clear shortfall already in decent sport facilities.

Pauline Galvin

Gordon Ley spoke on behalf of Pauline Galvin. He spoke on the beauty of Royal Park.

Royal Park Reds Cricket Club

Ben Zika and Joe Loh spoke on behalf of the Royal Park Reds Cricket Club. They oppose the project because of the impact on open spaces. They have concerns about the old grass hockey fields as a relocation option for them. What about settlement of soils after cut and cover?

Zika and Loh point out that nomadic clubs have never been viable – attached pavilions keep sports family friendly.

Proforma submission 1

Adam Bandt, the Federal member for the seat of Melbourne presented on behalf of the people who signed the first proforma submission. He said this project will only be feasible if the federal government funds part of it.

Bandt says we are still to see business case: that might contain data that would substantiate claims made in CIS re cost benefit ratio.

Bandt says no one least of all the panel are in a position to test the claims made by LMA. He says the CIS lacked specific detailed information about the impact of the proposed East West Link on local communities

He talks about the rail reserve for the Doncaster Rail line which has been there for 40 years- how does the govt reconcile these incompatible uses. He says the East West Link has to be planned properly if both projects are to be accommodated.

Panel should consider the impact on climate change of the East West Link versus rail alternatives. He says there is no urgency other than a political imperative.

Bandt says the panel, if it recommends approval should require a supplementary assessment under Section 69, of alternative projects.

Proforma submission 2

This was presented by Jill Koppel, Andrew Herington and Mike Naismith. Naismith talks about the cracking which occurred years after Eastern freeway, well after the 18 months limit.

He says LMA mentions nothing about noise attenuation for residents adjacent to the road’s structures.

He says the skyline will be destroyed for Clifton Hill. There are viable alternatives to destroying the houses in Bendigo st.

 

 

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