RESIDENTS FROM across Manningham descended on the Manningham Council Function room on September 25 to hear and be heard about the proposed options for the North East Link toll road which is planned to be built in the next few years.
A very vocal contingent of Bulleen residents was in attendance to show opposition to Option A which travels through their part of Manningham leaving a small group from Warrandyte drowned out by the noise from the Option A objectors.
Manningham Councillor Paul McLeish is particularly concerned the huge opposition from Bulleen residents opens up Warrandyte as the “path of least resistance”.
“If the people of Warrandyte, Park Orchards, Donvale and Wonga Park don’t raise their voice, they could end up with a very poor outcome … we will end up having Warrandyte, North Warrandyte and West Warrandyte, cut in half by a major road bridge from Beasley’s through to Stinton’s Road — taking out Aumann’s, the Baseball Park, Crystal Brook, Stinton’s Football ground and Park Orchards BMX club; wiping out millions of dollars of community facilities,” he told the Diary.
Despite following different routes in the North, both Options B and C follow the same route through the southwest of Warrandyte while Option D takes a 40km journey through Kangaroo Ground and Lilydale.
With vocal opposition for Option A and Nillumbik Council expressing their opposition to both Options C and D, odds are firming in favour of Option B, but the effect of this road on the existing network is unclear.
“I think Warrandyte is in significant risk of increased traffic because freeways induce traffic and the limited number of interchanges means that traffic north of Warrandyte will be pulled towards the Reynolds Road interchange and the Reynolds Road interchange will be a magnet for traffic from across the east, for 360 degrees around it — it will be a magnet for traffic and that traffic will seek to avoid the tolls for the tunnels so you will see traffic pouring up Springvale Road and into the Reynolds Road interchange, pouring out of North Croydon into Reynolds Road, a significant increase in pollution, they are terrible outcomes for our community,” said Cr McLeish.
Spokesperson for the Warrandyte Community Association (WCA), Doug Seymour told the Diary they have provided a range of questions to NELA, and says that to date they have had no reply.
“There seems to be an imbalance between community groups providing valuable questions to help the Authority to focus their risk management processes while NELA [North East Link Authority] is not able or is unwilling to provide the meaningful feedback required for Warrandyte…NELA is not providing the data and information for us to understand the scale of the impact of Corridors B or C,” Mr Seymour said.
Member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith is concerned with lack of detail provided by NELA, who has “only been prepared to give limited information to our community.”
“Potential impacts include a major interchange at Tindals Road, the loss of Stintons Reserve and emissions being expelled from the planned tunnels, which will collect in the valley — this is on top of the impact on local wildlife during the decade long construction period.
“It is important that the severity of these impacts are accurately communicated to residents so they can give informed feedback to the government,” he said.
Following the public forum, Manningham Council discussed the framework of its submission to NELA. During the meeting, several motions were debated with two being adopted. Councillor Paula Piccinini from Heide Ward successfully passed a motion for Council to oppose Option A, however Cr McLeish was unsuccessful in his amendment to offer the same unqualified objection to options B and C.
“All of the effects that are proposed in Bulleen are similarly proposed in Mullum Mullum [ward]… these areas are no less sensitive than the Bolin Bolin area in Bulleen, I cannot see why we should seek to nominate losers in this proposal by selectively picking a winner in Bulleen by saying it should not have a route through it, surely we as a council can do what we are elected to do, to stand on the principals we espouse for this particular project, to protect the amenity of all residents of our city, not just the selected residents who are impacted in Bulleen, if we are going to speak against these attributes then surely that is a motion to speak against the entire proposal”, he told Council.
Manningham Mayor, Cr Michelle Kleinert told the Diary that the aim of the motion is to highlight the preliminary local issues, opportunities and concerns to NELA.
“With three of the four proposed route options going through Manningham but very limited information available to make a solid analysis and evaluation of each route. Council is also requesting NELA undertake and provide further technical information and a detailed impact assessment of each of the four corridor options, and to further engage with the community and Council on the matter”.
Cr Kleinert successfully proposed to survey of all Manningham residents to inform Council of all residents’ views, not merely the vocal activists from the Bulleen area.
“The survey will be distributed in October to hear from all members of our community that could be affected, should route option A, B or C be NELA and the State Government’s preferred route.
“The results of the survey will be shared with the Manningham community and passed on to NELA to incorporate into their engagement,” she said.
Councillor Anna Chen noted that she supported the motion to object to Option A because of the passionate representation from the Bulleen community at the Manningham forum.
“You can hear the voices from the community,” she said to councillors.
Councillor McLeish told the Diary he was disappointed that his amendment to Cr Piccinini’s motion was unsuccessful, however “I will continue to protect Warrandyte and its community”, he said.
From the outset Corridor A has seemed to be the preferred route, but significant political, municipal and community pressure is building for Corridor B to be selected.
We need to be prepared for what this means for Warrandyte.
North East Link Forum
A group of residents effected by routes B and C have joined together to form the North East Link Forum (NELF), the group have also submitted a formal concerns paper to NELA.
This group is deeply concerned with the impact Corridors B and/or C will have on Warrandyte, Park Orchards and Donvale if either of these Corridors is selected.
If you are interested in what NELF are doing, you can find them on Facebook.