A Brush With the Law – An exhibition supporting the tunnel picket

At the Trophy Shop Project Space – 131 Plenty Road, Preston. Opening night – 6pm-8pm, Friday 15 August. Exhibitions runs 11am – 5pm, 15, 16, 17 August 2014.  More than 30 artists have donated work to this #TunnelPicket fundraiser exhibition Facebook event 

Royal Park sits majestically to the north of the CBD, the ‘Lungs of The City’, offering habitat to birdlife, open space for people to relax and room for dogs to run. Yet Royal Park is in real danger, an innocent victim of the State, on death row awaiting execution.

The historic streets of Collingwood and Clifton Hill are home to generations of residents, a mix of cultural backgrounds, students, the elderly and families. Many will be forced from their homes, some permanently and others having to endure years of invasive and disruptive construction.  Continue Reading…

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.

Continue Reading…

East West Link project approved despite recommendation to postone

Moonee Valley Leader: East West Link project approved despite recommendation to postone. Linh Ly. 10 July 2014

The Flemington Community centre and housing estate.

The East West Link has been approved despite an ­independent planning committee finding it will have an unacceptable impact on the Flemington Housing Estate and its surrounds.

State Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced the project was going ahead last week, ignoring the advisory committee’s recommendation to postpone the project’s “Part B”, which includes the estate, Flemington Community Centre, Debneys Park and Flemington Community Garden.

The committee’s report stated the project boundary was too close to the facilities and “the corresponding noise, visual intrusion, air pollution, displacement, compromised real and perceived safety, overshadowing and light spill render the facilities not fit-for-purpose”.

But Mr Guy said the decision provided certainty and approving it as an integrated decision was ­better “than a piecemeal approval process”.

The committee did not favour the alignment of the project in the Flemington area and said its ideal outcome was an alternative design, but conceded if it were to go ahead then Debneys Park, the community centre and garden should be relocated.

The Linking Melbourne Authority, which oversees the project, will develop a masterplan for the area and refine the project design.

Spokeswoman Gemma Boucher said it would be the next step in ensuring the area was “reinstated and even improved” and had already started discussions with Flemington Community Centre, Moonee Valley Council and the Department of Human Services.

“We understand the importance of these facilities and will be seeking involvement from local people through the development of the plans,” Ms Boucher said.

Moonee Valley Deputy Mayor Nicole Marshall said it seemed Mr Guy was “fast-tracking processes and taking shortcuts”, which could have devastating impacts to liveability and traffic.

Cr Marshall said much of the impact was still “up in the air” and the council wanted to be involved with further planning.

Essendon state Labor MP Justin Madden said there were unanswered questions, including what a Flemington Rd connection – to replace the Elliott Ave interchange – would look like.

A property impact report will be prepared in coming weeks, which will consider voluntary property purchases and outcomes for neighbouring organisations, such as Vision Australia’s Seeing Eye Dogs facility.

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