Yarra Council joins Moreland to fight East West Link

The Age: Yarra Council joins Moreland to fight East West Link. July 21, 2014, Henrietta Cook, State Political Reporter at The Age

Yarra Council will join forces with Moreland Council to launch legal action in the Supreme Court against the Napthine government’s controversial East West Link.

The inner-city council held an emergency meeting on Monday and unanimously voted to challenge Planning Minister Matthew Guy’s June 30 decision to allow the 18-kilometre road project go ahead.

Yarra mayor Jackie Fristacky said council had an obligation to act in the best interests of its residents.

“Yarra has long opposed the East West Link because of the absence of a transparent and viable business case and the devastating impact it would have on our local community, local heritage, inner city traffic and many other important aspects impacting liveability.”

The move followed Moreland council voting to pursue a legal challenge against the road last week – and vowing to lobby anti-East West Link councils Melbourne, Yarra and Moonee Valley to join their fight.

Socialist Yarra councillor Stephen Jolly, who has spearheaded a community campaign against the tunnel, said he hoped the Supreme Court appeal delayed the signing of the contracts until after November’s state election.

“This could be the nail in the coffin,” he said.

Mr Guy said Yarra Council were comprised of “odd-bods” from the Greens and socialist parties.

“This council has already wasted tens of thousands of dollars of ratepayers’ money on trying to stop something that will benefit the entire community from happening,” he told the ABC.

“The Government is utterly steadfast in getting this project up and running as soon as possible.”

It is the second legal challenge launched this year against the government’s signature project.

Brunswick resident Anthony Murphy and his legal team are trying to suspend the tender process for the first stage of the project, arguing it is based on “misleading representations” that breach consumer protection laws. They will appear in the Supreme Court again on Tuesday.

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