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East West Link protest demands "Trains not toll roads".

Tomorrow, Saturday 28 June 2014, thousands are expected to pour onto the streets to take a final stand against the monstrous $14 billion East West Link (EW Link) project about to be foisted on the long suffering people of Victoria by - in our view - the incompetent and increasingly unpopular Napthine Government. Demands of the rally are: scrap the E W Link Toll Road; rip up the contracts if/when signed; and invest in public transport.

Additionally the call has gone out for the Coalition to make the EW Link an election issue and to resist signing contracts before “the people” have spoken. Protestors will rally outside The State Library at the corner of Swanston and Latrobe Streets by 1 pm tomorrow, hear speeches and then march to Flinders Street Station.

Julianne Bell PPL VIC Secretary comments:

“Many of our allied groups will be forming one contingent to march together to draw attention to the looming threat to Royal Park and the many inner city parks along the route of the E W Link and City Link. We expect that a legion of children together with parents and grandparents who are concerned over the impact of the EW Link on the Zoo in Royal Park be marching alongside the parks groups. This project will, if it proceeds, cut an enormous swathe through Royal Park.

The City of Melbourne has estimated that, in this park alone, 5,200 trees will be axed for this project. These include 100 year old River Red Gums and the line of Moreton Bay Fig Trees in Macarthur Road planted by the famous Baron Ferdinand Von Mueller in early colonial days. We regard construction of the E W Link through Royal Park as an act of
gross environmental vandalism by the Napthine Government. Would the Mayor of London permit Hyde Park to be treated as free land to accommodate a new road through the city?

Rod Quantock President of PPL VIC points to the destruction of heritage suburbs from Collingwood through to Kensington along the route of the EW Link. He says:

“Not only will whole streets in Collingwood, West Parkville and Clifton Hill, where some families have lived for generations, be demolished but contractors plan to work on the excavation of the tunnel and construction of giant interchanges 24 hours round the clock. This will mean that huge areas of Melbourne will be rendered uninhabitable for years with the dust, noise, vibration and obtrusive lights and difficulty of access to some streets. All these advance plans have been made even though the Minister for Planning has not yet made his pronouncement about the findings of the 6 week long enquiry into the EW Link and advised whether the project has been approved.”

Numbers attending the protest tomorrow in the face of wild weather conditions will be an indication of the strength of public opposition to what is regarded as the most expensive and environmentally damaging infrastructure project ever proposed in Victorian history.

Contact: Julianne Bell Secretary Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Mobile: 0408022408

Source: Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc. (PPL VIC) 27 June 2014

Comments

The demand for public transport, as an alternative to the East West link, means the destruction of our city's inner-core, and more tolls. The cry for more public transport is due to population growth outstripping available services of buses, trains and trams. The solutions are not in isolation from what's driving the problem. Retro-fitting our city to be bigger than it's meant, or planned to be, is hideously destructive and expensive.

With a stable population size, and zero net immigration, we can fix the problems and the solutions can be made firm and achievable objectives, in a time frame. However, even our government is unable to "project" what size Melbourne will be in the future!

Nothing can be planned properly because Melbourne's growth is out of control. Any "solutions" are unable to keep abreast of demands. "Planning" is an oxymoron in Victoria. Plans continually become outdated and inadequate. Even the East West link will become congested a few years after its construction. It leads to ad hoc, and tainted decision-making.

The costs of living in our city are mounting and the only way is OUT!

The six-kilometre East West Link tollway through Melbourne's inner north will be built after Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced he had approved the project on Monday.

East West link approved

He said, “I have approved the East West Link eastern section as a wholly integrated project that will deliver a critical transport connection for Victoria. The value and importance of the East West Link project to Victoria is clearly recognised in the Assessment Committee’s report. The project will significantly improve traffic flows in Melbourne’s inner-north and provide an opportunity for enhanced public transport services".

This powerful decision, contrary to thousands of Melbournians, must give Matthew Guy an ego boost! In great defiance, he said: “The East West Link will improve transport throughout Victoria – this vital piece of infrastructure is the missing link in our road transport network.” What's vital to the public, the users, is the missing public transport links.

Roads attract more traffic, and this decision is clearly for the benefit of the road lobby, not the public.

"The project will significantly improve traffic flows in Melbourne’s inner-north and provide an opportunity for enhanced public transport services" - until in a few years the EW Link will also be congested due to population growth! What criteria of "improvement" is he measuring? The users, the public, know better than chauffer-driven politicians.

At a time of budget cutbacks, the EW Link will still go ahead, and is the biggest and most unpopular project yet in Melbourne.