Thursday, July 15, 2010

An email from Kensington Association

Association phones and emails ran hot over the last few days as the recently released metro rail proposal appeared to carve off a part of Holland Park (and maybe a few houses) for a new rail tunnel!!!

The document “Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel: Preferred Station Locations July 2010 includes this map which appears to show a relocated South Kensington Station and a tunnel entrance either in Holland Park or in the southern end of Ormond Street. (It’s the green triangle just above Dynon Road)

“Not again” seemed to be the collective feeling.

Then a quick stocktake of campaign materials from our last fight…. “Where did we leave those banners?”….”I am sure there is a box of stickers somewhere”.

A call to our local member Bronwyn Pike was the next step.

15 minutes later we received a call from a senior adviser in Minister for Transport, Martin Pakula’s office!

There followed a fairly animated discussion as the advisor sought to explain that this was only an artist impression and should not be seen to indicate that Holland Park is going to be a tunnel entrance or that South Kensington Station will be moved to allow that to happen.


Later yesterday we received a letter from Bronwyn Pike, a full copy of which will be available from our website, in a couple of days (or on request by return email).

Key points in Bronwyn’s letter include:

  • The intention is that the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel project will not affect JJ Holland Park;
  • It is not anticipated that the project will require the acquisition of any residential property in the South Kensington area;
  • The major construction entry point will occur in the North Melbourne area at the site of the proposed Arden Metro Station. Whilst some construction work may be required in the South Kensington area I can confirm that the majority of works will be undertaken in an area currently used for industrial purposes; and
  • South Kensington station will not be moved - the map as printed in online documents is merely an artist's impression and is not to scale.

The Association will be meeting with Department of Transport officials over the next few weeks to seek further clarification.

The metro-rail link is a potentially great initiative and the State Government should be commended for investing in rail rather than just more freeways. That said, there should be no doubt that we will fight to protect Holland Park and the houses of local residents, particularly given that there acres and acres of industrial land just south of the railway line.

In the meantime:

  • Thank you Bronwyn for your speedy response, it really is appreciated.
  • Friends and Neighbours - keep your powder dry.


David Ettershank


The Kensington Association

It's very comforting to hear that proposal is that most of the tunnel construction will be coming from the Arden Street Station site in North Melbourne, which makes sense, if you think of it. They'll need to construct a LOT more than just a tunnel at that site.

The image from the report, in the email above, is really just an indicator of rough city layout and lines connecting stations. I think the video animation (which is, again, just an artist's impression) is probably more representational.

This still (my arrow), taken from the video, seems to indicate that the tunnel entry point would be around half-way along the southern side of the park - around the point where that pavillion is now.

Even so, it would be good to hear just what timelines, and disruption, would be likely in the construction of the tunnel entrance, and how long this (and any other) construction would take.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More detail on the metro rail link

In addition to updates to other aspects of their Transport Plan, the State Government has launched a new campaign regarding the new metro rail link.

This new link, from Footscray to Domain (and ultimately, beyond to Caulfield) is entirely dependent upon Federal Government funding, which at present, it does not have.

However, by watching this video, it appears that the south side of JJ Holland Park, at Childers Street, is likely to have some pretty heavy construction activity present for quite a few years.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Melbourne rail revamp revealed

It seems I was a little hasty in saying no information about the rail yet (see post below). However, there's precious-little in here, that wasn't released a few years back in the transport report.

It does mention that the country rail may take 26 houses in Footscray, but again, no word about where the metro rail tunnel actually goes underground, nor about the mechanics of digging it etc etc. We all just hope that their promise to not touch Holland Park remains.

State Government releases more info on the WestLink road tunnel

3 proposals. Another study. More here.

The Age - Houses to go in plan to divert trucks

Herald Sun - Residents triumphant in first WestLink stoush

In 2008, Sir Rod Eddington's report into Melbourne's transport problems called for an east-west road tunnel linking the Eastern Freeway to the Western Ring Road. And, while the controversial Eddington proposal is still on the agenda, the Government has no plan to build it.

Herald Sun - Tunnel to ease the squeeze

Herald Sun - John the builder of poll strategy

Pic from the Herald Sun

No further specifics on the rail tunnel, and where it is likely to head down (at some point after Footscray station and before South Kensington is all we know).