You are here

Napthine thumbs nose at Victorians over East West link - mainstream media complicit?

Everyone knows that that the Coalition Government (now in caretaker mode) led by Denis Napthine has already signed the contracts for the infamous East West Link Toll Road in advance of the election this Saturday. What the public may not appreciate is that the East West Connect, a consortium contracted to carry out the construction of the biggest infrastructure project ever seen in Victoria, has already commenced work on the project in Royal Park. Last week teams of EWC surveyors moved in and commenced marking trees for removal in the vicinity of the planned tunnel entrance over the Ross Straw Field in Royal Park West as well marking what appears to be a construction road up Brens Drive, through the State Netball and Hockey Centre carpark and north on to the area of Royal Park designated by Linking Melbourne Authority for a construction camp and carpark.

Julianne Bell Secretary of PPL VIC comments:

“Our State wide coalition of 80 groups, plus a huge network of supporters for public transport not tollroads were outraged by the effrontery of Napthine and his cohorts to have started construction of the East West Link Toll Road in advance of the election and before the legal challenge to the project by the Cities of Yarra and Moreland is heard in the Supreme Court in mid December 2014. Last week our lawyers wrote to the contractors asking that work stop pending the legal hearing. They haven’t stopped work and it looks like they wont. Despite denials by EWC that trees are being marked out, we are afraid there will be a wholesale clearance overnight of indigenous/native vegetation in West Royal Park which pre dates white settlement and which has never suffered any real disturbance. This is the only remnant vegetation site left in Melbourne as far as we know. It is also habitat for an endangered species – White’s Skink.”

Meantime, for over a week, opponents of the East West Link have gathered daily in Royal Park to express their opposition to the project and to protest over the fact that the Coalition has given the go-ahead to work before the case comes up before the Supreme Court. The State Netball and Hockey Centre management believes the line delivered by EWC that there will be no interference with Brens Drive or with the Centre carpark.

There appears to have been a blanket ban by the media on reports that East West Connect has started project work in Royal Park. Shock jocks on 3AW and ABC 774 have refused to discuss the subject or newspaper letters editors to include comments.

Our groups call on the Labor Opposition, if elected this Saturday to govern, to put an immediate protection order on Royal Park to ensure that East West Connect desist from any further work in the Park or on the SNHC site.

Contact: Julianne Bell, Secretary, Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc. and Spokesperson Royal Park Protection Group Inc. Mobile: 0408022408

Comments

Victoria's new premier Daniel Andrews has vowed to get to work straight away but his maiden speech failed to mention one of the most contentious issues of the election - the East West Link. One of the most significant promises of his campaign was a pledge to rip-up the contracts for $6.8 billion first stage of the East West Link.

Investment in property is huge in Australia, and it's a major industry. It relies on pumping up our population with "skilled" migrants, despite an over-supply of workers, and unemployed, in Australia! There's no vision, or future plans for Australia. Politics is a about trying to keep up with demands for infrastructure and services, paid for by taxpayers while the elite gouge on huge profits and opportunities from huge property sales.

There needs to be some vision beyond our politics being bogged down by the basics of easing overloaded infrastructure, public services, traffic congestion and education. We should be moving onto high levels, of policies that protect our environment, and innovation to create jobs and increase productivity.

Victoria needs to move ahead, with a plan for the future, not be dragged down by the basics, and the misguided "growth" that's assumed to a euphemism for "progress". The real estate industry have hijacked our State, and are planning our lives to fit their own vested interests.

Is the breaking of the promise to tear up the contract for the EWL Andrew's first broken promise?