Alarm at the potential impact of North East Link is ramping up.
At a recent forum in Eltham, The Greens MP, Samantha Dunn, stated she believes the four proposed options are “pitting communities against each other”.
Ms Dunn called for communities to unite to oppose the construction of the North East Link in any form.
“It doesn’t matter where it is… it isn’t the right direction for Melbourne, it’s not going to solve the problems that you have it’s going to create enormous impacts in your communities… it doesn’t matter which part of northern Melbourne you live in, if this project goes ahead it is going to impact your area,” Ms Dunn said.
Greens advisor Alex Mark told the forum:
“All of the options lead to a loss of amenity, community facilities, schools and established residences, they carve up greenspace and require the acquisition of parkland, they generate pollution, they generate more traffic on local roads… all of them will further entrench car dependency and urban sprawl.
“What hasn’t been shown by the North East Link Authority (NELA) yet is that they will create land use change so you will see, light residential become commercial, industrial or far higher density residential areas — and that is not something that is reversible,” he said.
Mr Marks then put forward a suite of public transport projects which, combined, would cost less for the toll road, including upgrading rail, bus and tram and freight services to better serve the north east of Melbourne.
Manningham council have sent out a survey to gauge residents’ views on the project.
Manningham Council say they will use the data advocate on behalf of its residents on the preferred route and the design priorities.
The survey is open until 5pm November 17. Councillor Paul McLeish told the Diary he is arguing for improved public transport to be factored in to the plan.
“The North East Link at this point essentially completely fails to address public transport in any meaningful way — there is no inclusion of park and ride facilities, there is no expansion of existing park and ride facilities contemplated in any form there is no apparent consideration of heavy rail.
“If you are trying to plan for Melbourne for 30 years, which is what this infrastructure is about, in 30 years the population will be between 7–8 million people living in the city of Melbourne and you are going to need that outer loop rail just to make the rail network function,“ said Cr McLeish. Meanwhile the recently launched North East Link Forum (NELF) combines residents’ associations of Warrandyte, Park Orchards and Donvale who have come together to respond to issues around Route B and C, which would most likely impact these areas.
“These proposed routes would mean a 3km stretch of six-lane freeway thundering through the valley,” said NELF spokesperson Carli Lange-Boutle.
“We have followed the NE Link Authorities guidelines and have learnt nothing further to help us truly understand the impact on local roads, traffic, environment and residents…we are calling on Warrandytians to actively lobby against the impacts of Route B and C and join us in defending our Village character, our natural Yarra River valley bush land and surrounding Green Wedge buffers,” she said.
To have your say, Manningham Councillor Sophy Galbally has announced she will be holding a No Highway in Green Wedge protest at Stintons Reserve on Sunday, November 26 from 11am–1pm or contact NELF email@example.com for information on how to get involved with their campaign.