The Shadow of Acquisition: Residents alarmed at threat to homes

In the way: a Clifton Hill home on Alexandra Parade.

In the way: a Clifton Hill home on Alexandra Parade.

About 250 residents have received a letter advising the east-west link road tunnel is likely to be constructed near their properties, triggering concern that many homes will be compulsorily acquired.

The state government last week sent the letter to residents in Collingwood, Fitzroy and Clifton Hill on or near Alexandra Parade and whose homes could stand in the way of the multibillion-dollar tollway.

”I am writing to you directly today to further update you on the project because your property is close to where the east-west link is likely to be constructed,” the letter stated.

Residents were urged to provide the government’s Linking Melbourne Authority with their name and phone number, or their landlord or real estate agent’s details.The selected residents were told they would be provided with more-detailed information about the project and ”its likely effects in your area” before information was released to the public.

Yarra mayor Jackie Fristacky said the letter lacked detail on how the project would impact properties. She said: ”The state government has indicated that there will be compulsory acquisitions. The letters could cause alarm to residents because there is no detail.”

She said the Linking Melbourne Authority recently met the council’s chief executive and said 250 letters would be sent to residents who it thought would be affected by the tunnel.

A government spokeswoman said the authority would continue to communicate with residents who live ”in and around the general area” being reviewed for the project. ”No specific route has yet been declared and so we cannot say how many properties are to be acquired or where.”

She said the project was critical, and would create jobs and improve congestion.

Socialist Yarra councillor Stephen Jolly said the letter had immediately undermined the property values of hundreds of homes and caused a great deal of stress. ”If properties are not going to be demolished, they will have their value reduced by being much, much closer to the tunnel.”

Expressions of interest for the first stage of the $6 billion to $8 billion project, which will connect the Eastern Freeway to CityLink, will be invited this month and construction is due to start before the end of next year.

A previously released map showing the ”indicative project corridor” was enclosed with the letter, showing the tunnel snaking its way under inner suburbs from a vague point near the Eastern Freeway and Gold Street in Collingwood.

Collingwood resident Keith Fitzgerald, 70, has lived in his Bendigo Street home all his life and received the letter last week. He expects his property will be compulsorily acquired.

”We would be the first to go,” he said. He remembers when compulsory acquisition notices were handed out in 1972 to 99 neighbouring residential properties to facilitate the Eastern Freeway.

”I don’t want to go out far, I want to stay close to the city because I have lived here my whole life. I love the parks, I love the Smith Street restaurants and the Queens Parade shopping area.”In May, the government said ground vibrations from construction machinery, loud noise and poor air quality were some of the risks associated with the construction of the east-west road tunnel.

Henriette Cook, The Age, July 15, 2013

10 thoughts on “The Shadow of Acquisition: Residents alarmed at threat to homes”

  1. freda says:

    Check out all the comments at The Age – the community is clearly committed to the fight for Doncaster Rail.

    We will oppose the East/West Toll/Tunnel link and we will change the Government in doing so! (Ycat)

  2. freda says:

    Noise, air pollution, compulsory purchase. Just watch opposition to the tunnel grow. No city anywhere in the world has ever reduced congestion by building more roads. It may be counter intuitive, but it’s true.

  3. freda says:

    They’re pushing this through because of deals they’ve done in exchange for election campaign funding.
    Date and time
    July 15, 2013, 8:22AM

  4. freda says:

    One of the most important reasons to oppose the East-West link is the destruction of the Western end of Royal Park. The State has been chipping away at this historic, loved and valuable park for decades. Indeed, Melburnians have been worried about this loss of publicly owned and treasured open space since at least 1945.
    There is no Cost Benefit Analysis available for this project. Why? Surely the people are entitled to know how and why their own money is to be spent? According to Eddington, Mees and Davidson, and others, new freeways return a LOSS of 50 cents in the dollar. How is this a good thing for Melbourne?
    Where does Napthine’s claim of $1:40 come from? Given the failure of so many roads recently (CLEM7 comes to mind) has this figure been plucked out of the air?
    These modern toll-road projects are a simple turn-key DBO (design, build, operate) financial instrument for private investors. They generate their own customers by negating the appropriate development of cheaper and more efficient alternatives.
    Lazy, short-term political self-interest means most governments are looking for ‘ready to build’ projects they can commission and open with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a self-serving plaque, preferably within a single term of government. Where is the long-term strategic infrastructure planning and building we had in the 50’s and 60’s?
    Please, review your support for this project. In every poll, a majority of Melburnians shout that they want the Melbourne Metro rail built.
    Riddley Walker
    Date and time
    July 15, 2013, 9:03AM

  5. freda says:

    It takes a lot of work for governments to work out how they are going to shift public money into private hands. Or alternatively, transfer our money into the hands of the mega rich.
    Date and time
    July 15, 2013, 9:21AM

  6. freda says:

    A few hundred will have their homes damaged/acquired.
    A few tens of thousands will suffer the increased noise, pollution and traffic congestion.
    A few million (all Victorian taxpayers) will pay for the project whether they use it or not. Just like the desal plant.
    Date and time
    July 15, 2013, 9:06AM

  7. freda says:

    What Melbourne could get for $14 Billion instead of the East-West Tollroad,
    50 Trains
    Melton Upgrade
    Network signaling
    Rowville rail
    Doncaster rail
    Airport rail
    Dandenong upgrade
    Melbourne Metro
    Most people know value for money when they see it. Apparently not Napthine or Abbott.
    Riddley Walker
    Date and time
    July 15, 2013, 9:07AM

  8. freda says:

    Why were we promised a railway that would reduce traffic on the eastern freeway, but instead given a tunnel that will increase it?
    Date and time
    July 15, 2013, 9:09AM

  9. freda says:

    this is being built for the trucking industry not for ordinary motorists and commuters who would be better served by more rail lines. wait for the B-triples.
    Date and time
    July 15, 2013, 9:15AM

  10. chrisg says:

    The Government has not even released a plan. Yet they are already acquiring houses.

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