Press Release for CIS submission

Not good enough!” say the RATs group of the CIS on the East West Link proposal.

RATs, a group of concerned residents and taxpayers, is calling on the Assessment Panel for the Comprehensive Impact Statement (CIS) for the East West Link (Eastern Section) Project to reject the CIS as inadequate.

“The CIS is at best an interim study.  It is neither comprehensive nor adequate for the simple reason that it is based on a reference project, not the final design.  A further CIS needs to be done when the final design is known.”   David Hanna, RAT member, Collingwood Resident.

In its 123 page response to the CIS, RAT is critical of the failure to identify actual impacts or specify appropriate mitigation measures, which the CIS itself acknowledges cannot be done until the final design is known.  The final design would be determined by the contractor and the Linking Melbourne Authority (LMA) once a contractor has been appointed, after the public consultation process has ended.

“To leave decisions that will severely impact the health, amenity and well-being of Melbournians in the hands of the contractor and the LMA is tantamount to leaving the fox in charge of the hen coop.”   James Milne, RAT member, Parkville Resident

Some of the stronger objections highlighted in the RAT response include:

  • the failure to adequately recognise the unique value and amenity of Royal Park and to develop alternative strategies to mitigate the destruction of fauna, flora and recreational amenity;
  • the dubious traffic modelling that would have us believe that a 40-50% increase in traffic on the Eastern Freeway, much of it freight, will reduce traffic congestion on surrounding roads.  As The Age revealed on 9 December 2013, a secret report by the traffic consultant forecasts traffic rises of up to 35% on feeder roads into the Eastern Freeway and CityLink;
  • the suggestion that ‘urban renewal’ is desirable, which would see existing heritage overlay replaced by medium and high density development where neither communities or local governments have identified this as a planning goal;
  • the inadequate modelling and assessment of air quality given the potential concentrations of carcinogenic small particulates that will be emitted from the still to be designed ventilation stacks which will not use any cleansing technology;
  • the severe impacts of noise, vibration and potential blasting as a result of construction, affecting the health and amenity of affected residents and the structural integrity and value of their properties, over a period of up to five years;
  • the lack of adequate compensation and assistance to property owners who suddenly find themselves living next to a 24 hour a day, 360 day a year construction zone and new elevated roadways;
  • the failure to benchmark the proposed East West Link against the performance outcomes of alternative transport solutions such as public transport infrastructure.

The network of elevated and extended roads will drive a wedge through historically intact neighbourhoods and precious parklands, transforming the way we interact with and use our city.

“The proposed East West Link gives Melbournians no voice in what is essentially a planning permit to change the character and charm of our city.  Victorian taxpayers deserve better.”Christine Di Muccio, RAT member, Parkville Resident

The RAT note that the deficiencies of the CIS are in large part due to the haste with which this project is being pushed through, suggesting that this is intended to deny Victorian taxpayers the opportunity to vote on whether this proposed project is how they want $8 billion of their money spent.  The current Government went to the last election clearly saying it would not undertake this project – if they change their mind then they should take it back to the Victorian people.

Melbourne deserves better!

The full RAT response to the East West Link CIS can be found here .

Residents Against the Tunnel ( )

Media Enquiries:

Christine Di Muccio    0410 664 606

James Milne        0421 755 906

David Hanna        0419 338 116