Moonee Valley Council launches Supreme Court action against East West Link project

Moonee Valley Leader: Moonee Valley Council launches Supreme Court action against East West Link project. Linh Ly. 21 November 2014

An artist render of the East West Link western gateway.

Moonee Valley Council has officially lodged Supreme Court action against the State Government’s East West Link proposal.

Documents were lodged today, nine days out from the state election, after the council decided last month it would pursue a separate case than Moreland and Yarra councils.

Moonee Valley Mayor Narelle Sharpe said the action focused on why Planning Minister Matthew Guy changed the design and boundary of the project in October, and the legality of his decision and the process he followed.

The design changes included a new four-lane road through Debneys Park in Flemington, a new Brunswick Rd on-ramp and widened Ormond Rd off-ramp, and a larger project boundary.

Deputy Mayor Cam Nation said the late and surprise changes to the East West Link project would have devastating impacts on all of Moonee Valley.

“Council has initiated a Freedom of Information request to obtain the project’s plans and details to determine if there was sufficient justification for the last-minute changes to the design, which added a complex network of elevated roads next to the Flemington Housing Estate and along Moonee Ponds Creek”, Cr Nation said.

“We also need to understand the justification of a four-lane off-ramp at Ormond Rd and the newly added road, which dissects vital community open space at Debneys Park.

“We have continually asked the State Government and the Linking Melbourne Authority for these details without success.”

The action will also challenge the legality of Mr Guy’s decision and process he followed in line with the Major Transport Facilitation Act.

The council will argue Mr Guy assumed powers under the act that he was not entitled to.

Cr Sharpe said the decision to undertake legal action was not made lightly after advocating to the state and the authority about the impacts of the original design.

“This obviously fell on deaf ears because the amended design released in October is much worse for Moonee Valley in relation to traffic, loss of open space, air and noise pollution and damaging the Moonee Ponds Creek,” Cr Sharpe said.

Mr Guy said it was “no wonder a Labor aligned council would launch politically-motivated legal action a week before the state election”.

“This is just a desperate attempt from Labor to use ratepayers’ funds to assist Labor’s election campaign.”

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