Community in the dark over level crossing plans

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Moonee Valley City Council is considering taking legal action after the State Government used its powers in secret over the quiet Christmas period to exempt the Buckley Street Level Crossing Removal project from any further need for community consultation or meaningful assessment.

Moonee Valley Mayor, Cr John Sipek, said the State Government is locking the community out of the process by declaring the project using the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act and the approval process for the Planning Scheme Amendment has been opaque.

“Council officers stumbled across the declaration hidden in a document by chance almost a month after the fact. We also finally received a letter in relation the approval of the Planning Scheme Amendment on 18 January when the decision was made on 28 December. Not even Australia Post is that slow.

“We have now written to the Premier seeking an explanation and copies of documents showing how the project was assessed under the Act, including how they met the requirement for public consultation. If the State Government is unable to meet this request we will be forced to consider legal action,” he said.

Integrated Transport Portfolio holder, Cr Andrea Surace said the State Government seems determined to keep this community in the dark.

“They made no public announcement and failed to inform the community or Council of these actions at the time.”

“The State Government also released a media release today claiming that the final designs are on the project website but the only thing available is an artist impression completely lacking detail or even vaguely accurate footpath widths.

“They have also failed to complete and release a traffic impact report. This failure and their subsequent attempts to prevent any further scrutiny of the project appears to be an admission that their road-under-rail design remains deeply flawed and is politically embarrassing.

“They have kept quiet about the significant loss of parking in the area and the poor outcomes for pedestrians and people with mobility issue. The government is spending millions of dollars on the project only to leave the local community worse off than they already are and we demand better,” she said. 

See more information on the Buckley Street webpage.

Media enquiries:
Siobhan Coughlan, A/Coordinator Media and Issues
Phone: 03 9243 1645; Mobile: 0419 507 339; Email: media@mvcc.vic.gov.au 

Last updated: Friday, 20 July 2018, 6:30 AM