Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fears hit home: angry residents demand help to fight Eddington road plan

SIX hundred angry Sunshine residents have demanded Brimbank Council withdraw its support for an 18-kilometre east-west road that could plough through their suburb.

The road is one of several proposals included in transport expert Sir Rod Eddington's East-West Link Needs Assessment.

At a public meeting at Glengala Community Centre last Tuesday night, the council's engineering and operations general manager, Leigh Harrison, told residents the council had supported the road tunnel in its submission but not the compulsory acquisition of residential homes.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Harrison said the council would not withdraw its support, but it would include a covering letter with its submission stating that it did not support compulsory acquisition of residential properties.

He said the letter would propose that the Government investigate an alternative road alignment further to the south.

While maps supplied by Sir Rod's team lack detail, two of the road options could rip through residential areas of Sunshine and Sunshine West.

The angry and passionate gathering wanted promises the council would support it to fight the plan.

"We demand to know if we will lose our houses,'' yelled one resident.

Other residents were upset with the council for putting together its submission without consulting them.

"How can you write a submission for the city when you haven't asked us what we want?'' one yelled.

Mr Harrison said submissions had to be in by July 15, so time was an issue.

"Why didn't you hold this meeting a lot earlier then?'' one resident asked.

In its submission, the council stated it supported the proposal for a new road connection but added: "The State Government should consult with the council and the local community regarding the siting and design of the road infrastructure, including entry and exit points, exhaust systems and any associated land acquisition''.

"The bottom line is the council does not support acquisition of any private property,'' Mr Harrison said.

Residents were given a chance to ask questions and have their say.

Sunshine West resident Natasha Milasinovac, 22, said different options needed to be explored.

"I drive to work on the Western Ring Road every day, the problem is one person per car and there are so many people driving. We need to invest more in public transport,'' she said.

"The investment of $9 million could be better used in public transport or in different ways for people to actually get to work [and] didn't kick people out of their homes.''

Read the original article at http://theadvocate.yourguide.com.au/news/local/news/general/fears-hit-home-angry-residents-demand-help-to-fight-eddington-road-plan/806056.aspx

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