Moreland Community Against the East West Tunnel’s Michael Petit says link may affect Melbourne Zoo animals

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Moreland Leader: Moreland Community Against the East West Tunnel’s Michael Petit says link may affect Melbourne Zoo animals. Emma Hastings. 28 April 2014

The Moreland Community Against the East West Tunnel is organising a Children’s March for the Animals to Melbourne Zoo. Picture: Andrew Henshaw Source: News Limited

Moreland families will walk to Melbourne Zoo to protest the East West Link, fearing its construction will upset the animals and force them to be moved.

While the zoo has rejected concerns about the link’s impact, Moreland Community Against the East West Tunnel spokesman Michael Petit said families would march from Princes Park to the zoo on Sunday to advocate for the animals’ health.

“We plan to write letters to the zoo asking that they ask for a study to be done on what the noise and vibration impacts will be before (the state) proceeds with this project,” Mr Petit said.

Mr Petit said he did not have an animal science background, but feared the construction and traffic noise would prevent animals from sleeping and could force them to be moved.

“Trucks, cars will be passing within 40m of the zoo, 24 hours a day, the noise levels will be constant,” he said.

“Animals have got to sleep too.”

Zoo spokeswoman Jacquie O’Brien said they did not believe East West Link’s construction or traffic would have “significant impacts” on the animals.

“It is important to note that we are an urban zoo surrounded by trams, trains and traffic noise outside the zoo,” Ms O’Brien said.

“Inside the zoo there is noise from visitors, operations and the construction work of major exhibits.”

Ms O’Brien said the zoo had been in discussion with Linking Melbourne Authority for the past year to ensure its needs were incorporated into the Comprehensive Impact Statement and “we are satisfied that the issues of noise, vibrations, light spill and access have been included”.

The Children’s March for the Animals starts from 1pm at Princes Park on Sunday, May 4.

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