Tuesday, July 22, 2008

City rejects cross-city tunnel

MARIBYRNONG Council says it cannot support the cross-city road tunnel proposed by Sir Rod Eddington because his report is too light on detail.

The council has instead supported the general concept of a road linking Melbourne's west and east, but some councillors say the road should not be built as climate change looms and oil prices climb.

Of 34 submissions sent to the council during public comment, 27 opposed the tunnel and only two supported it.

The council voted 4-3 to send a submission to the State Government that "acknowledges the need" for an east-west road through central Melbourne. The motion, supported by councillors Michelle MacDonald, Michael Clarke, Sel Sanli and Janis Rossiter, said the council "cannot support" Sir Rod's tunnel option "given the lack of information" about sites and public impact.

Councillors Janet Rice, Catherine Cumming and Dina Lynch instead recommended a rethink on a cross-city road because of climate change, oil prices and costs.

Cr Rice said increased public transport use, including for freight, would make the road unnecessary.

"No matter what route is chosen it will be big, noisy, expensive, polluting and have massive impacts on people and their homes."

Cr Clarke said a tunnel was needed or congestion in local streets would worsen.

"Those people that say the tunnel is not necessary are foisting a life of misery on to those communities," he said.

The submission partly backs Sir Rod's truck action plan, but opposes widening Ballarat Rd from Geelong Rd to Ashley St, saying that would clog roads in Footscray, Braybrook and Maidstone.

It also opposes a freight route extension north of Sunshine Rd along Paramount Rd and Ashley St in West Footscray, and a new road connecting Footscray and Dynon roads with Ballarat Rd.

All councillors supported Sir Rod's public transport proposals, including new rail lines linking Footscray to Caulfield and Werribee to Sunshine.

Read the original artcile in the theMaribyrnongLeader.com.au

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