East-west link: Mayors welcome Moonee Valley legal action rethink

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Weekly Review Melbourne Times: East-west link: Mayors welcome Moonee Valley legal action rethink. Sue Hewitt. 14 October 2014

The mayors of Yarra and Moreland have welcomed Moonee Valley Council’s decision to consider legal action over the east-west link.

Moonee Valley had originally refused to join the two councils, which are fighting the toll road project in the Supreme Court, but will now look at its legal options at a meeting on October 15.

Moreland mayor Lambros Tapinos said although it was too late for Moonee Valley to join his council’s action, its councillors could support it morally and potentially financially.

Moonee Valley could also decide to take its own legal action after major changes to the project, which affected both Moonee Valley and Moreland residents, he said.

“There will now be two on- and two off-ramps in Ormond Road [Moonee Ponds] and Brunswick Road [Brunswick], which affects residents significantly,” Cr Tapinos said.

“Residents are right to feel dudded that they have not been listened to.”

He said changes to the project were the “trigger for Moonee Valley to say enough is enough”.

“It’s important to have another voice, another municipality say that this [project] is not right and not what we expect from a state government.”

Cr Tapinos said the cities of Yarra and Moreland had a win in court after a judge ruled the councils could access state government documents.

“We hope to get the business case for the project and the economic modelling so we can see the cost-benefits analysis and work out the value of the toll road compared to other projects across the inner north,” he said.

He hoped to get the business case document, which has not been released, before the state election.

Yarra mayor Jackie Fristacky said Moonee Valley stood to lose vital public facilities, playgrounds, gardens and open spaces.

“The state government’s out-of-the blue recent changes to its plans for the east-west link will have major impacts on parts of Flemington [in Moonee Valley] and some of its most vulnerable residents living on housing estates,” she said.

She said many Moonee Valley residents had lost community facilities when CityLink was built and were now “poised to go through all that again”.

Moonee Valley mayor Jan Chantry said she would “carefully” consider proposals put to the council’s special meeting on the east-west link project.

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