Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (10:09): I am pleased to rise today to once again speak of my concerns for the people, families, community groups and small businesses that will be impacted by the construction of the North East Link. I am a strong supporter of the North East Link. Talking to business owners in the Bulleen industrial zone, many of whom will lose their businesses through this process, I see disbelief. Some cannot believe that anyone would design a tunnel that pops up in the middle of a thriving business district. Some cannot believe that the government can just force them to sell.
I remember another industry that was also in disbelief. Despite consultation, despite our pleas, the government passed legislation in August 2017 that stripped taxi and hire car businesses of their property as was defined by the High Court of Australia. I am here in this place because we were treated unfairly and the compensation was inadequate for the property that was taken.
I see another group of small business owners in Bulleen now, and while I take some comfort that the land acquisitions are somewhat protected by the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986, I understand their distress, confusion and disbelief. I will continue to work closely with the Bulleen Industrial Zone Group, the ministers, the councils and the North East Link Project to make sure that these small businesses are properly and fairly compensated and do not need to make their way into Parliament with a new flavour of unfinished business.
I will continue to work closely with the Bulleen Industrial Zone Group, the ministers, the councils and the North East Link Project to make sure that these s…