ABC: Protesters told not to disrupt test drilling at East West Link sites. Updated Wed 8 Jan 2014, 10:19am AEDT
PHOTO: The protesters formed a human chain and tried to prevent a water truck from getting into the site. (ABC News: Jacqui Peake)
Victoria’s Roads Minister is warning protesters not to disrupt testing of drill sites for Melbourne’s East West Link.
There will be drilling at up to 16 sites between Collingwood and Carlton this month.
The works are needed to plan the first phase of the 18-kilometre road link between the Eastern Freeway and the Western Ring Road.
Last month protesters clashed with police in Fitzroy when demonstrators blocked access to the site.
Roads Minister Terry Mulder says while people have the right to demonstrate, it should be done without violence.
“But in terms of endangering police, charging at police at a barricade and charging at workers who are on site with equipment running, that is simply not on,” he said.
“No one should be put in that level of danger and these people need to have a good hard look at themselves.”
About 25 protesters formed a human chain at the site today as the drilling resumed and tried to prevent a water tanker from getting in.
About 20 police officers surrounded the drilling rig and about 30 tactical response team members were nearby.
Protester Mel Gregson says the aim is to delay the project until the next election.
“Our goal today is to try to disrupt drilling to force the Government into a position where they can’t sign contracts for this project before the state election,” she said.
“We want them to take it to the people of Victoria, to ask them do you want us to waste billions of dollars on a toll road.”
One protester was arrested and may face charges.