After seven weeks of hearings, more than 850 public submissions and thousands of pages of arguments from lawyers, the independent planning panel examining the government’s North Eastlink Toll Road Project has retired to prepare its report on the project’s future.
Through its lawyers, the North East Link Project Authority systematically rejected almost every issue and alternative idea raised during the EES process claiming that the reference design and the proposed management plans represent the best outcome for the state.
In his presentation to the NEL advisory panel on Monday Mr Barton asked them to consider five areas of community concern in its recommendations to the Minister – enforceable EPA construction guidelines, better solutions for the Bulleen Industrial Zone, better protection of the Green Ribbon, the inclusion of feeder roads and priority on public transport services.
I will address the government’s expert advisory panel for the North East Link on Monday morning (September 9 at 9.45am) and will call for Victoria’s Environmental guidelines for major infrastructure construction works to be mandatory requirements on the project.
Community design solutions need consideration in the development of a final design for the North East Link. I’ve asked the Planning Minister to ensure the needs of the community and their input be incorporated.
I asked Minister Wynne in Parliament today to undertake the required rezoning of the site at Websters Road as soon as possible to allow Manningham Council to subdivide the area to accommodate businesses from the soon to be displaced Bulleen Industrial Zone.
Last week we toured businesses in the Bulleen Industrial Zone last week with Manningham Mayor Paula Piccinini to hear concerns over the Environmental Effects Statement process and the current design, which proposes wiping out much of the business zone.
“These small business owners are living in limbo and it’s creating huge stress on them, their businesses, staff and their families.”
The benefits of Victoria’s infrastructure developments will outweigh the short term pain of road and public transport disruptions, but even more public transport projects need the green light according to Transport Matters Party leader Rod Barton.