Poor community consultation by VicRoads costs taxpayers

The lemon scented gum report. from Daniel Doody on Vimeo.

Along Mt Alexander Road in Parkville, is a lemon scented gum tree that sits on an island median strip, that City Link want to remove to introduce two new lanes and create a smooth traffic flow… they have already cut down 4 trees, but VicRoads are still in discussion with the community on alternative arrangements to keep this one.

UPDATE 2: Monday 25th July 2016: news is circulating that VicRoad may move on removing the Lemon-scented Gum in the next 24-48 hours, it’s imperative to show support & contact Guardians of the Flemington Road Gum if you can volunteer to guard the tree.

UPDATE 1: VicRoads has reviewed Option 6 and provided a response. The attached table presents a guardian response to the VicRoads comments that were clearly aimed at discrediting the alternative design rather than moving closer to embracing a much safer alternative for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. It is now up to Transurban to determine whether they will ignore the better design that has been developed.

Read Option 6: Flemington Road Intersection  |  Read VicRoads response

Media Release: Poor community consultation by VicRoads costs taxpayers $40,000-$50,000 a day (25 July 2016) By Guardians of the Flemington Road Gum

FlemingtonRd_Gum1VicRoads’ failure to engage in community consultation over the redesign of the Tullamarine Freeway Flemington Road off ramp and intersection in Parkville that includes the removal of a stand of mature lemon-scented gums is costing Victorian taxpayers $40,000-$50,000 a day.

Local residents have come together under the name Guardians of the Flemington Road Gum in an attempt to protect the remaining landmark tree classified as significant by the National Trust, potentially one of the first native Australian trees planted in a Melbourne roadway reserve.

After being directed by the City of Melbourne to investigate alternative designs that retained the trees, VicRoads pushed ahead with their original intersection design and began removing the trees on 25 June this year. The Guardians managed to save the one large significant tree.

Less than two weeks later, in a second aggressive move, locals were woken by chainsaws at 1am as the canopy of the significant tree was targeted in a surprise midnight raid. Quick-thinking residents were again able to save the tree by stepping in between its trunk and the work crew.

Since that night, the Guardians have maintained a 24 hour a day, seven day a week presence at the tree. They have also been working with a civil engineer to create a design for the intersection that will retain the tree while meeting all VicRoads’ safe roadway design requirements. Continue Reading…

Labor asks for audit of all infrastructure spending after East West Link findings

The Abbott & Baird Show: BYO shovels + political career

The Abbott & Baird Show: BYO shovels + political career

The schadenfreude is seriously flowing today with Anthony Albanese calling for the Coalition’s entire megaproject program to be independently investigated in the wake of East West Link reports from the Victorian Auditor General and Australian National Audit Office, and last months WA Supreme Court ruling into Roe 8.

Guardian Australia​: Labor asks for audit of all infrastructure spending after East West Link findings (6 January 2016)

Coalition’s entire program could face independent investigation following request for audit taking in Sydney’s Westconnex and the Perth Freight Link

The Coalition’s entire infrastructure program could be subject to an independent investigation after the Labor party requested an audit into claims that the handling of Melbourne’s East West Link project reflected “systematic failures”.

Labor’s call follows a scathing report by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), which found the Abbott government had inflated the deficit during its first year in power by transferring $1.5bn to Victoria for the now-scrapped tollway project despite “clear advice” that the payments were premature. Continue Reading…

Audit finds East West Link project compromised by flawed advice

Here’s a useful video explaining complex things with handy slides

No doubt you’ve noticed todays media is full of East West Link palaver we had more than an inkling about since 2013. The project would of cost $22.8 billion if it had proceeded.

Victorian Auditor-General’s Office – East West Link Project Tabled: 9 December 2015

This audit examined whether the state had effectively managed the East West Link (EWL) project by assessing the total costs of the project, appropriateness of advice supporting key project decisions and the lessons for future major projects. The audit included 10 government agencies.

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Over the life of this costly and complex project, advice to government did not always meet the expected standard of being frank and fearless. This highlights a risk to the integrity of public administration that needs to be addressed. The report makes recommendations to the Department of Treasury & Finance to provide guidance for development and delivery of major projects and for the Department of Premier & Cabinet to emphasise requirements for frank and fearless advice from the public sector.

Media Release: Victorian Auditor-General’s Office: Audit finds East West Link project compromised by flawed advice

Acting Auditor-General Dr Peter Frost tabled the East West Link Project report today. This audit examined whether the state had effectively managed the East West Link (EWL) project by assessing the total costs of the project, appropriateness of advice supporting key project decisions and the lessons for future major projects.

Peter Frost said, ‘The EWL project was terminated in June 2015 with more than $1.1 billion paid, or expected to be paid, by the state for little tangible benefit. This cost includes expenditure on the planning, development, procurement and termination of the project and will be partially offset by future proceeds from the sale of properties acquired for the project. Continue Reading…

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