Overwhelming support for Yarra’s stand

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City of Yarra: Overwhelming support for Yarra’s stand. 22 July 2014

Yarra Council has been inundated by phone calls, emails and social media posts thanking Council for its decision to join the legal challenge against the Minister for Planning’s approvals of the East West Link.

Mayor, Cr Jackie Fristacky said the community wanted Council to advocate on their behalf because of the devastating impact the East West Link project would have on the lives of so many residents and the very fabric of Yarra.

“There is despair in Yarra about the lack of transparency surrounding this project, the impact it will have on inner city liveability and the fact that the $8billion for the East West Link would detract from vital public transport projects to reduce inner city traffic congestion as opposed to inducing traffic which is what the tunnel will do, especially on Hoddle Street and Flemington Road,” she said.

“As elected members, we have an obligation under the Local Government Act to represent the best interests of our community on issues that affect them and this is an issue of monumental significance.”

Cr Fristacky said that in the lead up to Monday’s special council meeting, dozens of residents had contacted Councillors urging Yarra to join Moreland Council’s legal action. Since then, hundreds of residents had made comments to Council and on social media. The overwhelming majority of comments have been strongly supportive of Council’s position. Some of the correspondence with Council has included:

“Congratulations and thanks to the Yarra councillors for voting to join the Moreland court challenge.

Thanks for your work & support on this. Once again the City of Yarra has done us proud. How could I move to another area with another Council?

Great that Yarra is making a stand with this.

The majority of residents in the City of Yarra and (according to research a large percentage of voters across Victoria are opposed to the East West Link) and therefore we support the legal action of local councils or any action to stop the Government to sign this contract before the state election.

As a rate payer in the City of Yarra, and fully appreciative of the wonderful efforts of Yarra Council in opposing the East West Link.

I commend Yarra Council for its efforts opposing the tollroad through the Comprehensive Impact Statement and planning panel processes and ask you to continue this effort by supporting Moreland.

As a rate payer in the City of Yarra, and fully appreciative of the wonderful efforts of Yarra Council in opposing the East West Link, I am writing to urge you to show support in whatever way you can to the City of Moreland.

I know many Yarra residents would stand behind you in your support of this action, as they have strongly supported your stand in the past.

Yarra Council has been magnificent. Don’t stop at the last minute. Yarra residents expect nothing less from you.

I fully support Yarra Council joining this legal action.

Yarra has taken a lead in the past in fighting the EWL, and we respect and support your many actions to date. Please don’t give up now!

May I add our very strong vote for Yarra Council to join Moreland’s Council’s Legal Action against the East West Tunnel.

It is a wonderful thing that you are doing, was, there one saying “I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

We need the Yarra City Councillors to have the courage to support residents who will be affected by the East West Link.

Whatever criticism Council may receive for joining in this legal action, I believe it will be well outweighed by the support you would receive from the majority of Yarra residents who do not want the East West Link built.

Thank you for representing your communities’ best interests…and for standing up for due process!

Feel like hugging a parking inspector after my @YarraCouncil voted to take #EWLink legal action. Thank you!

Thanks Yarra Council and Moreland Council for sticking up for due process and local communities.

We love you Yarra Council ! Thank you!

Great news: @YarraCouncil will be joining @morelandcouncil in #EWLink legal challenge! Representing best interests of our communities.

We are very proud of your work and wish you all the best.

More than happy for my rates to be invested in this fight. Congratulations for standing up for the community you represent.

Again, @YarraCouncil is awesome.

Cr Fristacky said community trust and confidence in Yarra Council and satisfaction with Council performance and levels of advocacy had increased substantially in the past 12 months, reflecting community support for Council’s actions.

“We regret that we have been forced to challenge the decision of the Minister,” Cr Fristacky said.

“However in good faith we went through the Assessment Committee process only to have the important recommendations of the independent body set up to assess the project rejected. Now we feel that we have no choice but to proceed with this legal challenge.”

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