Boroondara Council awaits more detail on East West Link impacts

Progress Leader: Boroondara Council awaits more detail on East West Link impacts. Greg Gliddon. 29 July 2014

Boroondara Mayor Coral Ross and her fellow councillors want more details on the impact of the East West toll road construction. Picture: Janine Eastgate

Boroondara Council is unlikely to follow Moreland and Yarra councils in fighting the East West Link in the courts, but has called for answers on how it will impact on the municipality.

Councillors last night voted unanimously to write to the Roads and Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder seeking a response to a range of issues associated with the multi-billion dollar project.

Councillors said they wanted to know the true cost to the region before they gave the plans solid approval. And they did not totally rule out joining other councils should those requests by ignored.

Council’s director of Environment and Infrastructure Bruce Dobson said following the release of the East West Link comprehensive impact statement (CIS), council had been left with a number of questions that needed a response.

“Following the release of the CIS, only limited information has been provided that would enable an assessment of the project’s specific impacts on Boroondara to be conducted,” Mr Dobson said.

The points questioned were:

● The widening of the Eastern Freeway and how this will be accommodated, including possible impact on parkland and vegetation

● An increase in traffic on access roads to the Eastern Freeway

● Increased noise levels along the Eastern Freeway

● The importance of progressing key public transport infrastructure projects

● The need to make provision for the Doncaster rail line

● The increased need for sporting facilities resulting from the loss of facilities in the City of Melbourne.

Mayor Coral Ross said there were only two ways she could see the freeway being widened — by taking land away from the Koonung Creek Reserve in Boroondara’s north, or taking out the median strip which is set aside for the future Doncaster rail.

“Perhaps the State Government has another plan we are not yet aware of,” Cr Ross said.

Cr Judith Voce attempted to get an amendment added to the motion that the minister be made aware of objections by residents throughout the city.

But this was rejected by other councillors, who argued that no specific data had been collected pointing to a widespread rejection or approval of plans.