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Federal agencies blow the whistle on #EWLink


Federal agencies blow the whistle on #EWLink by Andrew Herington

A draft report issued by Infrastructure Australia (IA) has well and truly blown the whistle on the waste and mismanagement of government road spending. Tellingly titled “Spend more, Waste more” – and with the above photo on the front cover – the report is scathing about the way road authorities have pursued more and bigger roads.

Read the report here: Spend more, waste more. Australia’s roads in 2014: moving beyond gambling (PDF, 1.88MB)

Key extracts include:

“Australia has a true gambler’s addiction to roads: the money spent is not a rational investment. Governments assume that major improvement is just around the corner, if they could just spend more.

“The current Australian system assumes that roads are an answer to most transport problems and seeks more and more funding to that end, with little consideration of alternatives that most other developed parts of the world enjoy, such as significant heavy intercontinental rail networks and dominant heavy mass transit systems.

Australia’s nearly $20 billion dollar annual road spend can only be described as hideously inefficient… In recent years road spending has in fact outstripped road taxes and charges revenue, meaning Australia’s thirst for roads might now come at the direct expense of other things.”

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Support Moreland City Councils legal challenge against East West Link

ABC TV News – Coverage of Moreland City Council legal challenge against East West Link on ABC Melbourne 7pm News (Saturday 19 June 2014)

Yarra Council are meeting this Monday morning (21 July 2014) to consider joining Moreland Councils legal action against East West Link, as the deadline for lodging a challenge is Monday. Councils will need to make a decision on Monday.

Make your support known: please contact your local ward councillor individually and let them know you’ve contacted all of them.

Not in Yarra? Please consider contacting your local councillor and getting them on board this weekend

Contact details:

Why the rush towards compulsory acquisitions?


Dear Premier, I am writing to ask you to urgently clarify the Government’s position in relation to compulsory acquisitions associated with the East West Link project.

Message from Harriet Mantell, Residents Against the Tunnel (RAT)

I thought you should know that I have just spoken with a resident who has received communication from Linking Melbourne Authority (LMA) to tell them that they will be issuing Notices of Intention to Acquire (NOITA) in early August.

The LMA then have to wait at least two months from the date of the NOITA before issuing a Notice of Acquisition (NOA). The property reverts to the LMA on the date of the NOA ie immediately. The LMA has tweeted (yes tweeted) that they would allow people to remain in their properties for a peppercorn rent of $1 until the property is required.

The question is will they issue NOAs before contracts are signed or enabling legislation is passed or indeed before the election?

You have to ask why are they doing this now? Construction will not start till 2015 – plenty of time to allow the process to commence AFTER the election.

We have emailed the Premier. I encourage you to get people to do the same.

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Why won’t the government kill the Hoddle St Flyover?

Clearly, the minister is badly informed about what evidence was actually exhibited to the panel.

Why did the minister overrule the assessment committee?

The Victorian Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, was given advice by his own panel that the Hoddle Street Flyover should be deleted from the project. Despite this, the minister is pressing on with this destructive infrastructure. Why didn’t he accept the advice of his own advisory panel?   To press ahead against the advice when the project (and the government) is already suffering a legitimacy problem would suggest there are some very strong drivers pushing for the flyover. Yet the Linking Melbourne Authority was unable to convince the Assessment Panel that the flyover was even necessary.  So what could the drivers be? First we can look at reasons the Minister’s gave for disregarding the advice. The stated reasons for decision covers the flyover at Section 45.

I have rejected the Committee’s finding that the option for a flyover at the eastern end of the Project would be unacceptable for the following reasons: (a) The Project is of such significance to the State, and this interchange so critical to the design, that it is necessary and desirable that the eastern portal and access be resolved sooner rather than later and with this approval.

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