Moreland City Council: Yarra Council joins Moreland to stop the tunnel. Monday 21 July 2014
Moreland City Council issued proceedings against State Planning Minister Matthew Guy this afternoon to have his decision to approve the East West Tunnel project reviewed by a Supreme Court Judge. This legal action has been joined by Yarra Council after a unanimous vote of its Councillors this morning.
Moreland Mayor Cr. Lambros Tapinos said, ‘The State Government must put its business case for the tunnel to the Victorian people. Why is it being kept secret?’
Moreland’s case centres on the process used by the Minister to approve the tunnel, as well as that of the expert committee that assessed submissions.
‘We say that the Minister did not follow the process and in failing to do so is denying the Victorian public the information it needs to make a decision on the tunnel.’
Cr. Tapinos rejected claims by Planning Minister Matthew Guy that Moreland is not an efficient Council and is wasting ratepayer’s money.
‘Moreland Council by any measure serves its community well,’ Cr. Tapinos said. ‘Our major services are first rate, and the fact that so many people wish to move to our municipality, and property prices are outpacing many other areas of Melbourne, are measures of that.’
Moreland has a great tradition of political independence, Cr. Tapinos said. ‘Our ratepayers expect more from us than having their bins picked up. They expect us to represent them on issues that affect the city, and there is no doubt that the East West Tunnel does that.’
Yarra City Council’s decision this morning means that the estimated cost of the legal action, between $100,000 and $340,000 should the action be unsuccessful, will be shared between the two Councils.
‘The Minister talks about wasting money,’ Cr. Tapinos said. ‘He should be much more embarrassed running an expensive panel process involving hearings and submissions and then rejecting many of its key findings.
‘We look forward to a Judge’s view of Minister Guy’s management of the process and urge the Napthine Government to take this project to an election with all the evidence before the electorate to secure a real mandate for the tunnel.’
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