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MORE than 100 angry Brimbank residents rallied at Ardeer Station last weekend, calling on the Regional Rail Link Authority to postpone construction work on the multi-billion dollar project.The ‘Fix the Links’ Residents Rail Action Group voiced their concerns about an increase in noise, pollution and traffic congestion in the area as a result of the Regional Rail Link.Brimbank resident Maurice Sibelle said the group wanted the rail link to go ahead, but were asking the authority to address their concerns before commencing construction work.
“There are some misconceptions in the community that we are opposed to the Regional Rail Link but we are not,” Mr Sibelle said.“We want to present to the community and all interested parties that there is an intelligent response to what the government is doing and they are rushing ahead with this project.”“Our fear is that it will take so long to adopt the policy that the RRL will be finished and the money will be spent, and we will be left with is the problem that is still there, and there is no plan to fix it,” he said.Greens MP Colleen Hartland said there are a number of serious and significant community concerns regarding the Regional Rail Link that need to be addressed.“I share the key concerns of the community and the Fix the Links residents group - noise, diesel pollution and access issues at rail crossings,” Ms Hartland said.“Noise and diesel pollution concerns have been raised by communities all along the rail corridor from West Melbourne all the way to Deer Park, and these concerns are justified.“Electrifying the line and running modern electric trains would resolve both of these issues to a large extent.”Brimbank Council’s General Manager of Infrastructure and Environment Paul Younis said council would seek to facilitate consultation between the Regional Rail Link Authority, ‘Fix the Links’ and other residents relating to concerns about the railway corridor between Sunshine and Deer Park.“Council continues to play a strong advocacy role on behalf of the community in order to realise optimal community outcomes from the Regional Rail Link project,” Ms Younis said.“Further consultation is planned once the Department of Transport’s Draft Passenger Rail Infrastructure Noise Policy is finalised at the end of the year.”A spokesperson for the RRL said the project will continue to comply with all relevant environmental legislation, standards and guidelines, including those on noise and air quality.For more information about the ‘Fix the Links’ action group visit http://www.fixregionallraillink.blogspot.com.au
This article first appeared on www.starnewsgroup.com.au
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