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Council disappointed by planning approval for East West
01 July 2014
Yarra Council is disappointed by the Minister for Planning’s announcement granting planning approvals for the East West Tunnel project, Yarra Mayor, Cr Jackie Fristacky said today.
“We continue to be deeply concerned by the lack of rigour around this project without a business case”, Cr Fristacky said.
“The Minister has stated in his approval that he does ‘not rely on a business case’ and further that it is ‘not necessary’ for him to do so. He states it is sufficient that it is enshrined in Plan Melbourne.
“The Council notes the Minister has accepted the adverse impacts on Royal Park and the Zoo of the Elliott Avenue interchange and determined this not proceed. However, we are shocked by the Minister’s rejection of his Assessment Committee’s finding that the Hoddle Street flyover to the Eastern Freeway was unacceptable. The Minister’s decision is contrary to the evidence and the Committee’s recommendation that the Hoddle Street interchange be redesigned at grade.
“The decision by the Minister also flies in the face of the groundswell of community opposition to the East West Link demonstrated by the thousands of people who turned out for the Trains Not Tolls rally on the steps of the State Library on Saturday and the tens of thousands of people who have supported the campaign over the last 12 months,” she said.
“We are devastated for communities who will be hardest hit by this project.
Cr Fristacky said Council would be reviewing in detail the Minister’s decision and reasons against the Assessment Committee’s 300+ page report to better understand the conditions imposed and how our community will be impacted.
“Melbourne’s future as an international city requires a 21st century public transport system to meet the huge demand for sustainable travel, to meet population growth and provide the basis for enhancing productivity by reducing excessive transport costs for business and the community,” Cr Fristacky said.
“Instead, Melburnians get disjointed, out of date planning, that will exacerbate congestion and divert funds needed for vital public transport infrastructure throughout Melbourne.
“This is not just about Yarra residents – the east west link will disadvantage every Melburnian who aspires to live in a city that is sustainable and where jobs, schools and services are well connected by public transport.”
“The east west road link will not help us achieve a more liveable, sustainable and productive city. It will instead exacerbate travel problems for Melbourne, significantly exacerbating congestion on Hoddle Street, Flemington Road and surrounds”.
The Assessment Committee report can be accessed online or hard copies can be viewed at the Richmond Town Hall, Collingwood temporary customer service centre and at the Carlton, Fitzroy and North Fitzroy libraries.
Strategic Advocacy Coordinator
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