Media Release: Friends of the Earth and Friends of Banyule
Friday 6 December, 2019
Concerned residents gather at Planning Minister Wynne’s office in reaction to North East Link announcement.
Dozens of community members set to be impacted by the mega toll road gathered outside the planning Minister’s electoral office in Fitzroy this morning. This was in reaction to yesterday’s announcement by Minister Wynne to approve the North East Link.
The $16 billion North East Link is set to vastly expand the Eastern Freeway up to 24 lanes. This will add 95,000 more cars onto the road each day, many of which will end up at Hoddle St.
Locals from Banyule made the trip into the city, calling on Minister Wynne to rethink the North East Link, which will lock Melbourne into car dependency and rule out opportunity for a rail line to Doncaster.
The community members feel devastated about the extent of environmental and social damage and health impacts of the toll road. This includes 11 kindergartens, 12 schools, 5 aged care facilities and over 100 businesses which will be affected.
“The impact on parkland and sporting facilities in the area will be devastating for locals and Melbourne as a whole, robbing us of 175 hectares of open space during the 7 year construction period, with 18.2 hectares required permanently. Over 26,000 trees will be bulldozed for the project,” said Friends of Banuyle’s President, Michelle Giovas.
“We don’t accept this greedy, undemocratic, sham consultation. The Minister has failed to listen to reasonable advice from his own expert Planning Panel and over 870 submissions by the public,” she added.
Friends of the Earth’s Sustainable Cities campaigner Claudia Gallois said, “This will further entrench Melbourne’s reliance on cars for travel and have negative impacts on local communities and businesses, increase greenhouse gas emissions and lead to the loss of valuable amenity.”
“Mr. Wynne has ignored advice from the Environmental Effects Statement Planning Panel, leaving communities exposed to the major negative impacts of this toll road,” added Gallois.