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DAMNING Freedom of Information documents have revealed a sky rail advisory panel was told not to seek community feedback.
The Level Crossing Removal Authority documents tell the panel “We are asking that you do not advocate or actively seek feedback from local community”.
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They go on to say: “You were chosen because we think you are representative of your local community.”
The documents, seen by the Leader and obtained by state opposition planning spokesman David Davis, are from the authority and contain the terms of reference for the community tender advisory panel.
An artists' impression of Carnegie station post-sky rail. Picture: Supplied
The construction of sky rail in Murumbeena and Carnegie. The pylons come close to this unit of flats. Picture: Alex CoppelMr Davis slammed the project, saying the documents showed the community had no forewarning and no consultation.
“(It’s) just Labor riding roughshod over communities and imposing a previously secret, huge, ugly and noisy sky rail that nobody voted for,” Mr Davis said.
The panel included Oakleigh state Labor MP Steve Dimopolous, a facilitator, LXRA members, and representatives from businesses, the council and the community.
The released documents do not identify 14 of the 16-member panel, but do reveal that one panellist reported community information sessions “weren’t well communicated” and that “short notice was provided about sessions”.
David Davis has slammed the project. Picture: Stuart Miligan
Sky rail over a fence in Carnegie.
LXRA project director Brett Summers said the panel was established to provide community input on the project during a “commercially sensitive bid process”.
“Most major projects do not include this kind of mechanism during the competitive tendering process, however given the importance of this project we were keen for bidders to directly hear feedback from the community,” Mr Summer said.
“(The advisory panel) was just one of a number of community engagement activities we conducted — we were out visiting homes, train stations, shopping centres, fetes, libraries and swimming pools.
“All of this feedback was passed on to bidders to help inform their proposed designs.”
Mr Summers confirmed the names of people on the panel were protected by confidentiality agreements.
Lower Our Tracks secretary Dianne Hunt said it was outrageous the public had been “kept in the dark”.
“This just shows they didn’t want the community’s input,” Ms Hunt said.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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