Mordialloc Freeway objectors continue fight

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RESIDENTS against Mordialloc Freeway president Scott Fothergill said he was “amazed” at the quality of the presentations during a public hearing period held to consider the environmental effect of the road project.

Mr Fothergill said “the EES Panel ended on 15 March with just over 30 presentations by local residents and community groups in the final two weeks. More than two-thirds of the 112 submissions to the EES were opposed to the freeway or wanted changes.”

“The risks to the matters of national environmental significance, the Ramsar listed Edithvale Wetlands, and the myriad birdlife are too great,” he said.

“I am amazed by the efforts and high calibre of presentations. The EES showed the growing opposition to this freeway. The efforts that so many took to prepare and present such moving and well researched opposition to the freeway has been nothing short of spectacular. 

“The Inquiry and Advisory Committee has a big job ahead of them.”

Discussion over the freeway continues at Kingston Council, with councillors voting on 25 March to defer debate on the project’s environmental impact for another month.

Cr Rosemary West moved a motion that said “that council expresses concern about the failure of the Major Road Projects Authority and its predecessor VicRoads to show reasonable regard for the wishes and interests of the Kingston Council and community in its planning for the Mordialloc Freeway.”

One reason for concern listed in the motion included “failing to provide a road overpass for the Dingley Freeway near the intersection of the freeway to provide an at-grade crossing for the Chain of Parks Trail, which Council’s planning scheme and Green Wedge Management Plan indicate should accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians and a habitat corridor linking Karkarook Park with Braeside Park. State Government has recently committed $25 million for the construction of the Chain of Parks only for the MRPV plans to result in the Chain of Parks Trail coming to a halt at a T-junction at the Dingley Freeway.”

Another two reasons for concern given in the motion were “the impact of the proposed closure of Woodlands Drive on the landowners and tenants of Woodlands Industrial Estate”  and the “failure to take into account the potential health impact of the freeway on residents of adjoining suburbs, which was not even mentioned in the initial EES document.”

Councillors agreed to defer discussion until next month to allow more time to adjust the wording of the motion.

Last month, McConnell Dowell/Decmil Joint Venture was chosen as preferred tenderer for the $375 million project.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 10 April 2019

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