Fall of EWL Anniversary Picnic

Tollways don't belong in public parks

Tollways don’t belong in public parks

Several community tunnel picket stalwarts, acknowledging one year since the park was saved from East West Link.

Several community tunnel picket stalwarts, acknowledging one year since the park was saved from East West Link.

Tony Murphy

Tony Murphy

Here’s a couple of photos from a quiet little celebration on 16 December 2015 at Royal Park with several community tunnel picket stalwarts, acknowledging one year since the park was saved from East West Link.

“In the weeks before the election, right up to the Friday before, the East West Link Consortium tried to start up preparatory work in Royal Park—surveying for the workers’ carpark, doing water testing etc. (we heard from an engineer they had been instructed to rack up billable hours.) a number of us maintained a deck chair vigil there and were largely able to stop them. a single half-hearted visit from the police.

On the Monday we went back, just in case, but the white trucks stayed away: fortunately we were not in the universe where Denis Napthine won and was forging ahead”

Royal Park Protection Group: Final Nail(s) in Coffin for EWL!!

Exemptions for East West Link Project Deleted from Royal Park Heritage Registration by Heritage Council of Victoria.

The Heritage Council of Victoria announced a decision which was made on 3 December 2015 and communicated yesterday to amend the existing registration of Royal Park on the State Heritage Register to remove the permit exemptions associated with the cancelled East West Link project. (These had been introduced by the former Minister for Planning Matthew Guy.)

A legendary Tunnel Picket dog

A legendary Tunnel Picket dog

Additional Background:

Community Tunnel Picket & Crop Circles at Ross Straw Field (February 2014)

Bid to include Royal Park on Victorian Heritage Register may affect East West Link plans (February 2014)

Royal Park vigil + photo shoot (November 2014)

Could you please ask your surveyors to exit Royal Park?‘ (November 2014)

Royal Park – The Last Summer. Photographs by David Tatnall

How community action re-politicised transport planning in Victoria

It emerged as the key issue in the Victorian election and arguably led to the downfall of a government – but the East-West Link tollway also set a blueprint for community activism with impact.

The Centre for Urban Research’s Dr Crystal Legacy has researched the community-led anti-tollway campaign and examined how it came to have such a significant political effect.

The proposed 18km East-West Link tollway was designed to link Melbourne’s Western Ring Road and Eastern Freeway but community opposition to the project spread when the Napthine Liberal government signed contracts in 2014 to construct the multi-billion dollar project before taking the plan to an election.

Legacy says the government’s decision to remove the community from the transport investment decision-making process and its attempts to depoliticise the decision only served to “hyper-politicise” the project.

“Politically engaged citizens will go to great lengths to create their own spaces where deliberations about the transport problems, priorities and investments can occur, but in a manner that allows alternative transport futures such as public transport to also be considered,” she says.

Campaigners engaged heavily in social media, community-led forums and one-to-one consultation sites to garner support for their plight. Continue Reading…

East West Link defeat: Anthony Main explains how it was done

22 May 2015: At the book launch of “Beating the big end of town”, author Anthony Main recounts how community pickets and various other protest activities contributed to the defeat of the East-West link toll road project.

SP Educational: Beating the Big End of Town: 2.30pm, The Brunswick Green, Saturday 20th June 2015

The campaign that defeated the East West Toll Road was one of the most significant victories against the big business agenda in Australia for decades. Despite huge odds stacked against them, ordinary people changed the course of history, ending a project that was arrogantly treated as a ‘done deal’ by establishment politicians and the corporate media.

The influence of Marxism within the campaign – through the leadership of the Socialist Party – is undeniable. Socialist Party’s efforts to inject the campaign with socialist ideas and methods were reflected in the tactics and strategy that were key to the campaign ultimately succeeding.

Over a series of weeks, SP will host an educational series based on Anthony Main’s recently released book “Beating the Big End of Town: How a Community Defeated the East West Toll Road”. By discussing the book, we will explain more deeply the link between Marxist ideas and the success of the campaign and draw out the key lessons which can and should be applied to other community campaigns in future.

The educational should interest all socialists, environmentalists, community campaigners and unionists looking to learn about what role Marxist ideas and methods can play in fighting the big business agenda in their lives and communities. To obtain a copy of the book before the educational series begins, contact the SP National Office on +61 (3) 9639 9111

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