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Yarra City Council has sought an urgent meeting with the Premier and Minister for Public Transport and Roads following the State Government’s release of design plans for the East West Road Link showing the project will rip through the historic suburbs of Clifton Hill, North Fitzroy, Collingwood and Parkville.
“Yarra City Council will do everything it can to support our community who are in shock and disbelief at the Premier’s alarmist announcements and authoritarian decision making," said Yarra Mayor Cr Jackie Fristacky.
“The community deserves an explanation for why this government is determined to proceed with stage one of the East West Road Link without genuine community consultation, a proper business case and detailed traffic analysis.”
Cr Fristacky said Council would consider at its meeting next Tuesday night (23 July), what else it could do to support local communities at this time.
“Residents are confused and anxious and they have every right to be,” she said. “We are urging them to seek independent advice and counselling and will be doing whatever we can to assist this process.
“At the same time however, we are reassuring them that Yarra will continue its statewide [font=inherit]Trains not Toll Roads[/font] campaign calling for the Government to abandon its plans for the $8-15 billion East West Road Link through inner Melbourne in favour of funding desperately needed public transport initiatives across the state.
“Trains Not Toll Roads is growing and growing – last night Darebin City Council voted to support the campaign alongside Yarra, Moonee Valley and thousands of residents across Melbourne who have joined Facebook, signed online petitions and attended public meetings," Cr Fristacky said.
“There are also 23 Councils behind the Metropolitan Transport Forum’s Wrong Way Go Back campaign which has publicly stated “East West is not progress, it’s a setback” and “Favouring the East section of the East West road tunnel ahead of other major transport projects, the Napthine government has set back crucial improvements to public transport and left the rapidly growing Port of Melbourne without a sustainable road freight link.”
“Yarra Council urges all Victorian Councils to stand united with us – the huge cost of the East West Road Link will cannibalise other vital public transport projects which are desperately needed across Victoria including Metro Rail, Airport Rail, Doncaster Rail, Mernda Rail, and Rowville Rail, and signalling upgrades to name a few!" Cr Fristacky said.
“Looking at the images and maps on the Linking Melbourne Authority website, there is no way this project will cost $6-8 billion as suggested by the Government.
“In reality, it will cost significantly more and all we will get is 1970s freeway mania, rather than responsible planning for the transport needs of a 21st century city.”
Cr Fristacky said the Government’s decision to push ahead with the East West stage one through inner Melbourne was undemocratic and inconsistent with the Transport Integration Act requirements for integrated urban and transport planning, which call for genuine stakeholder engagement and transparency on major infrastructure projects.
For further information about Trains not Toll Roads visit http://www.trainsnottollroads.com.au orhttps://www.facebook.com/TrainsNotTollRoads#!/TrainsNotTollRoads
All media enquiries to Toby Walker, Communications Co-ordinator, on 0408 954 769.
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