Herald Sun: Council foots bill for campaign childcare. John Masanauskas. 15 August 2014
Inner-city residents affected by the East West Link project will get free childcare while they meet with lawyers and counsellors to discuss their problems.
Yarra Council has made the offer to people whose homes will be compulsorily acquired to allow construction of the $8 billion tunnel.
The council will also provide free meeting spaces for those residents, and is encouraging them to seek legal advice if they get letters from the State Government’s Linking Melbourne Authority.
“Council remains strongly opposed to the East West Link and the impact it would have on local neighbourhoods, the environment, transport congestion and health and wellbeing,” it said on its website.
Yarra has committed to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to campaign against the tunnel, including joining Moreland Council in a legal challenge.
The council said that free meeting spaces would be available on a regular basis to allow residents to meet as a group, or with lawyers or support or counselling services.
“If needed, free childcare/playgroup services can be provided to coincide with the use of the free meeting space,” it said.
The Napthine Government has accused Yarra of wasting taxpayers’ money on the campaign, while groups such the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the RACV have argued the tunnel is vital for the city’s transport needs.