The Victorian Government’s announcement that it will deliver North East Link Corridor Option A hasn’t come as a surprise to any of us.
The decision was a foregone conclusion with the so-called community consultation a complete sham. Very little information was provided from the outset.
Our community has been very clear in saying they do not want Corridor Option A to go ahead. The Victorian Government is not prepared to listen and now residents will be uprooted from their homes and businesses.
This is an appalling decision and, along with our community, we’re very concerned about its impact on our neighbourhoods, environment and local amenities.
Mr Andrews is coming out with slogans about 'getting things done' but I call on the Victorian Government to focus upon getting things right! Corridor Option A is not the best response to the project brief - it does not provide a true orbital ring road connecting the industrial areas in the northern suburbs, via the M80 ring road, through to Dandenong and the south-east.
This mega-freeway will increase traffic volumes, noise and pollution along the already heavily-congested Bulleen and Doncaster Roads.
Additional lanes along the Eastern Freeway will create havoc for our local amenity and bring increased construction, traffic noise and dust. There has also been no mention of noise attenuation measures being introduced along with the extra six freeway lanes. The North East Link Authority (NELA) needs to start being transparent and make all documents publicly available, so the community can see how this is truly going to impact their lives.
What we do know about the North East Link (NEL) plans:
- Six extra lanes (three in each direction) on the Eastern Freeway between Springvale Road and Bulleen Road.
- Twin tunnels near the Bulleen Road/Eastern Freeway interchange. Both tunnels will be three lanes each (six lanes in total).
- The Boroondara Tennis Centre, Freeway Golf Course and Carey Sporting Fields are under threat from the tunnels and interchange.
- The Eastern Freeway will remain toll free.
- The North East Link will be tolled.
- A bus rapid transit lane will be delivered with separated bus lanes in the centre of the Eastern Freeway with one lane in each direction.
The Victorian Government says it will prepare and publicly release a detailed business case with cost estimates to inform next year’s budget. The preferred construction company will be selected in 2019 and construction will commence in 2020.
Council is yet to receive a briefing from NELA but you can be rest assured we will keep you informed of developments on this project.
We will continue to fight to protect our local community and environment and will maintain our advocacy on behalf of Boroondara’s residents.
Cr Jim Parke Mayor of Boroondara
Image: L-R Cr Phillip Healey, Cr Jim Parke, Cr Cynthia Watson and Cr Lisa Hollingsworth at a community rally in Balwyn North.