A public rally organised by community groups will be held this Saturday in the heart of Melbourne to demonstrate Victorians continued strong rejection of the deeply unpopular East West Link. Rally speakers will include Senator Christine Milne, Cr Stephen Jolly and community representatives.
Harriet Mantell, affected local resident and spokesperson, said the aim of this second rally is to clearly show to any newly elected Victorian government after 29 November that the Victorian people do not want this shambolic and destructive project to proceed.
In the four months since the first Rally for Public Transport (28 June 2014), opposition has continued to grow against the East West Link. There are two Supreme Court challenges currently underway against the project. The Murphy case challenges the secrecy surrounding the economic justification. The second, by Yarra and Moreland City councils, alleges that the Minister’s decision making process was flawed. A third challenge by Moonee Valley City Council will be lodged against the “irrational” decision of the Minister to change the design. Darebin Council recently moved to show in kind support for the three council challenges.”
“This week’s report “Tunnel Vision or World Class Public Transport? How cancelling the East West Link can fund better transport alternatives for Melbourne” authored by ten transport planners and financial analysts, on the huge costs of this ill-advised project, cannot be ignored,” Ms Mantell said.
“It is an absolute disgrace that local residents and businesses, as well as Office of Housing residents, in Collingwood, Clifton Hill and Parkville, are still in limbo. Many remain so close to the project boundary they will suffer the visual and noise impacts of roads only metres from their front doors. They have not been offered compensation or relocation, and the offer of counselling from the Linking Melbourne Authority is no solace or solution. The loss of valuable public space in Royal Park, Melbourne’s green lungs, is utterly unacceptable in a modern city that prides itself on its ‘liveability’.
‘This rally strong reiterates our three key demands: scrap the East-West Link, rip up the contracts and invest in public transport across Victoria,’ Ms Mantell said.
“People understand that a growing city needs long term sustainable public transport, not a toll road link that gets you to the airport quicker. The East West Link does nothing for those in places like Bentleigh or Frankston who need to get to work. It does nothing for those in Altona or Point Cook. For $18 billion, we need a more equitable public transport investment for all Victorians, that provides more skilled, long term and sustainable jobs than any East West Link would,” concluded Ms Mantell.
Contact: Harriet Mantell, Rally spokesperson: 0425 725 706
Rally speakers include
Senator Christine Milne – Australian Greens
Cr Stephen Jolly – Socialist Party
Noel Laidlaw – Rail Revival Alliance
Marcellene D’Menzie – Tunnel Picket
Rod Quantock – Protectors of Public Lands Victoria
Sean Brocklehurst – Socialist Alliance
Ray Jordan – All Aboard