Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fears tunnel could impact on homes

By Belinda Nolan
12th August 2008 11:05:37 AM

Confused...Seddon residents Jenny and her mother Evelyn and neighbour Betty (background) are concerned with the lack of detail in the Eddington report.

MARIBYRNONG residents fear they could lose their homes if the road tunnel proposed in Eddington’s East West Link Needs Assessment goes ahead.

More than 50 concerned residents from West Footscray, Yarraville and Seddon attended a public meeting last Monday night, to organise a campaign against the recommendation.

Top of the list were concerns many homes would be compulsorily acquired to make way for the tunnel and elevated freeway that is proposed to link the Western suburbs to the Eastern freeway.

West Footscray resident Susan Stricevic said she and her husband had lived in their Rupert St home for 28 years.

“If they decide to build an overpass what’s going to happen to everyone’s houses?” she asked.

Footscray resident Linda Cargill echoed her concerns.

“Under option B (one of the possibilities outlined in the Eddington paper), the road is going to go over my house, which means my house is going to have to be acquired by the government.”

“For people in this area of Yarraville, which is around Hyde St, they’re going to have an elevated freeway bordering their properties and just in terms of physical amenities, that’s going to be quite disastrous for some people,” she said.

Residents also voiced concerns that the roadway could have a negative impact on the environment.

While the tunnel plan was developed partly to tackle the congestion problem, many believed it would have the opposite effect.

“I don’t think there’s any evidence that building a lot of freeways in the long term alleviates congestion. It could actually promote more and more people to get in their cars,” said Seddon man Adam Shepard.

The gathering was the second in a series of public meetings organised by Greens MLC Colleen Hartland.

She was joined on the night by Maribyrnong councillor Janet Rice.

Ms Hartland said there was a real danger people could lose their homes if the tunnel plan went ahead.

“Quite clearly in the Eddington report it says homes would be at risk. I think they would be vulnerable, was the term they used.”

Ms Hartland said one of the biggest problems with the proposal was a lack of information about where exactly the new infrastructure would go.

“The maps in the report are very vague and it’s difficult to say which houses will be effected,” she said.

Ms Hartland said she would be holding further meetings toassist the community in organising their campaign.

She said several neighbourhood action groups had already been established and the next step would be to co-ordinate those groups into a larger, Melbourne-wide body.

Ms Hartland encouraged people to unite to campaign against the road tunnel.

Read the original article at www.senews.com.au

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