Community led designs that solve many of the sticking points around the North East Link project deserve a fair go, according to Eastern Metro MP Rod Barton.
Three independent community designs presented at the EES hearings were highlighted in the report from the Independent Advisory Committee charged with assessing the environmental impacts of the project, with a recommendation that they be provided for consideration by project bidders.
“The minister supported this recommendation but in reality, the proponents of these alternative designs feel they have been blocked at every attempt to present their ideas to the bidders,” said Mr Barton.
The North East Link Authority has made provision for local councils to present to the two remaining bidding groups, but to date has refused access for the independents.
The team behind the SMART taxpayer design have petitioned the Banyule Council for inclusion in their presentation but have been denied a spot on the council’s agenda. Their design fixes many of the issues at the northern end of the project by extending the tunnel beyond Simpson’s Barracks.
“There are good solutions for many of the issues that have been raised by the communities that will be most affected by the construction of this important road link,” said Mr Barton.
“These people have put considerable time and personal resources into developing these designs because they are invested in the best outcome for their communities. It isn’t much to ask for the courtesy of a 30-minute slot to explain their reasoning and engage in professional discussions with the bidders.”
In Parliament this week Mr Barton asked the Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan to allocate time for the community designs to present.