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.”
We received a response this week from the Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne following Mr Barton’s question in parliament regarding the need to get legal representation to present individual cases on the North East Link Environmental Effects hearings.
The cost of fairly compensating and relocating these business, plus the negative impact of removing a precinct that contributed over $132 million each year to the local community deserved more than the cursory mention in the Environmental Effects Statement.
In Parliament I have asked that the Minister for Planning, who will ultimately sign the project approvals, to assure the public that the North East Link panel hearings will be fair and transparent and that the “lawyering up” by the project managers won’t hijack the process and disadvantage the public.
Traffic, job losses, noise, poor amenity and environment impacts are among the many issues raised by stakeholders in submissions to the main approval process for the North East Link Toll road.
Upper House MP Rod Barton, whose Eastern Metro electorate is hardest hit by the $16 billion project, says his office has received many calls, emails and messages identifying local community issues with the project.
Recently I have engaged closely with the community in my electorate to ensure that they are aware and they have assistance in preparing their submissions for the environment effects statement (EES). In the past fortnight my office has received a huge number of calls, emails and messages from residents, sporting clubs and local councils.
Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (12:50): My constituency question is addressed to the Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, in the other place. I seek assurances for residents and businesses on Templestowe Road and Bulleen Road, south of the freeway, that these will receive upgrades needed to cope with the increase in traffic. These are two key on-ramp roads that are currently deemed out of scope for the North East Link Project. Templestowe Road is a rural road. It has no kerbs, drainage channels, footpaths, formal bus stops, shelters or safe pedestrian crossing points.
The road currently has 13 000 vehicles per day, and to date the North East Link Authority has provided limited modelling projections, yet this road will be a major feeder into the Bulleen Road–Manningham Road intersection. On Bulleen Road 1600 vehicles use the two-lane residential stretch between the freeway and Doncaster Road on a daily basis. It is expected to increase to nearly 5000 vehicles each day, and small businesses and residents along this road are understandably concerned. So I ask the minister: what assurances can she give residents and businesses that these roads will receive the required upgrades to accommodate the increased traffic?
A high speed rapid transit busway proposed in the North East Link preliminary designs must be included in early works according to Transport Matters Party leader and member for Eastern Metropolitan Rod Barton.