Since I started as the FoE & PTNT Sustainable Cities campaigner I have been continually shocked as I learn more about the Transurban $5.5 billion mega-toll road proposed for Melbourne’s West.
What started as a much needed proposal to get noisy, poisonous trucks off the residential streets of Melbourne’s inner West has now morphed into a crazy plan to lock the West into a car dependent future. Titled a tunnel, it actually consists of a 12-lane toll way, short tunnel, 3 giant bridges across the Maribyrnong River, then an 18-lane double-decker road leading to spaghetti interchanges and flyovers.
For the last few weeks, I have joined concerned residents from the west at the environmental effects (EES) hearings of the project.
Here, with the lawyers and the bureaucrats, ordinary citizens are trying to digest the 10,000 pages of environmental effects information in an insultingly short time. Many of the representatives are volunteers – residents and community groups that don’t have dedicated employees or professional experts to untangle the volume of information within the documents.
As Rosa McKenna from Better West – Spotswood South Kingsville Residents Group says “the government and Transurban are trying to push this project though, but we know it is wrong for so many reasons: shifting truck traffic onto other inner west streets in Hobsons Bay, with the health and safety implications, and locking us into decades more of road based infrastructure”.…