16 July 2013

Linking Melbourne Authority released detailed plans for the East West freeway this morning. The implications for homes and public open space within the City of Melbourne are significant, with several new components to the project which were not mooted during the recent sham community consultation meetings.

The designs released today indicate:


1 – four new lanes of raised freeway down the western side of the existing CityLink along the Moonee Ponds Creek corridor

  • Freeway to be built directly on top of Moonee Ponds Creek;
  • Direct contradiction of the City of Melbourne’s masterplanning for the area, the Arden Macaulay Structure Plan;

2 – the compulsory acquisition of homes and businesses

  • 118 properties, including 92 homes, will be demolished along various sections of the corridor;
  • Another 258 properties will be ‘compensated’ for devaluation;

3 – overshadowing and partial destruction of the Royal Park wetlands

  • Freeway to result in overshadowing and partial destruction of the western pond of the Royal Park wetlands, constructed in 2005 to recycle stormwater to irrigate Royal Park;
  • Extent of devaluation of properties in Parkville West and Parkville Gardens unknown;

4 – the destruction of Ross Straw Field

  • Destruction of Council’s new underground watertanks under Ross Straw Field which irrigates Royal Park;
  • Permanent loss of playing fields currently used for soccer, cricket and baseball.

5 – new on- and off-ramps on Elliott Avenue

  • Tram 55 re-routed;
  • Increased road traffic entering North Melbourne at the Flemington and Elliot Avenue intersection, but no traffic projections or business case released.

The threat to homes and public open space is now sharply in focus.

The City of Melbourne’s policy on the East West freeway, from its current Transport Strategy, is to “Consider the Government’s proposed East West Link when details are known to make sure that it achieves the City of Melbourne’s transport and urban development objectives and is consistent with council’s resolution of June 2008 opposing the use of any parkland for the purposes of any road works or associated activities.”

Despite this, Council recently endorsed an application from the Linking Melbourne Authority to conduct the geotechnical drilling which led to the proposal released today. (The vote was 6 to 5, resulting in the Greens Councillors’ alternative motion to reject the drilling as it contradicts the Transport Strategy not being considered.)

Now that the East West freeway detailed plans have been released, Council will have another opportunity to respond – and has committed to doing so as part of this year’s Council Annual Plan: “Consider approach to State Government East West Link proposal.”

More information about the City of Melbourne’s positioning will be made available as it comes to hand.