9 October 2013
The Council last night hosted a public meeting regarding the implications of the East West Link on the City of Melbourne’s communities; a meeting which came about as a result of the successful Greens motion at the August Council.
The turnout was impressive, with standing room only from 5 minutes before start time, as Councillors, residents and ratepayers met to discuss traffic, environmental, community health and urban design concerns rising from the East West Link reference design.
The meeting was a great opportunity for the Council – including Councillors who voted against the motion not to support the East West Link project as announced – to hear communtiy feedback. And the feedback was overwhelmingly strong and consistent, the strongest theme being a desire for Council to take a stronger leadership role in opposing the project.
Presentations from senior Council officers covered old and new ground as ‘interim assessments’ of the impacts of the project were detailed. The presentation on open space drew the strongest reactions, as officers explained the likely loss of over 5,000 trees from Royal Park, and permanent loss of 9 hectares of active open space.
An independent account of the public meeting has been created by YCAT through storify.
Until Council formally responds to the East West Link Comprehensive Impact Statement in November and December, its current resolution as moved by the Greens will stand, being that the Council does not support the East West Link as announced.
Whilst many residents and some Councillors are clearly disappointed that the Council has not taken a stronger stance on the project (the most prominent example being the City of Yarra, which has funded a resourced community campaign against the East West Link), the avenue to Council taking a stronger leadership role will, as always, rely on the community insisting that its elected representatives listen to its concerns.
As such, please make sure your voice is heard on this once in a generation project which will permanently change the face of our community:
- pose your questions directly to the Linking Melbourne Authority in the presence of Council at a second special public meeting to be held 13 November;
- respond to the City’s draft response to the Comprehensive Impact Statement when it is published on 2 December;
- make your own response to the Comprehensive Impact Statement by the 13 December deadline; or
- contact Councillors directly.