Meeting with Linking Melbourne Authority

Briefing Session by LMA to Community Groups on Drilling Program: A request was made that LMA brief community groups on the drilling program as a matter of urgency as  – to our alarm  – it had already started on the roundabout in Carlton at the intersection of Swanston Street and Cemetery Drive and in Alfred Street North Melbourne near Boundary Road. On Tuesday 31 July 2012, LMA held a briefing session in the city and invited representative of PPL VIC, Royal Park Protection Group, Carlton Residents Association, North and West Melbourne Association, Parkville Asociation.  (The Friends of Royal Park and The 3068 Group were invited but could not attend.)

Drilling Program Indicates East West Link Route: We discussed at length the test drilling program – Stage 1 of the East West Link – currently underway between Hoddle Street Collingwood at the end of the Eastern Freeway and Alfred Street/Boundary Road, North Melbourne. The plans produced by LMA,  showing the individual test sites, gives a very good indication of the proposed alignment of the East West Link. It extends from the Eastern Freeway, through the inner suburbs and Footscray to the Western Ring Road, some eighteen kilometres in length. . (The full length is now known as the East West Link.  WestLink – once separate – is now known as the “western extension of the East West Link”!) As far as we know there are about 50 test sites in all with about 13 in Royal Park and Princes Park on CoM territory. (LMA had to ask CoM permission but not apparrently on VicRoads land.) It is very interesting to note that test drilling is not proposed west of CityLink at this stage.

Direction of East West Link Changed from Eddington 2008 Plan: Attached is a small version of a a map tabled at the meeting and now on the LMA website. It reveals the East West Link at around Alfred Street and Boundary Road, North Melbourne has, very generally,changed direction. (Under the Eddington Plan it barrelled under North Melbourne and Kensington including HollandPark to the Port) It now goes south along CityLink and turns west through the rail yards and Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market to link up with the tunnel running under Footscray and out to the Western Ring Road. (It is not known where the new “portal” will be this side of the Maribyrnong River.)  It is not clear from the maps if this section is in a tunnel, at grade or elevated. It is important to note that it does not go through Kensington to Holland Park as originally proposed.

More Detailed Maps of Drilling Sites: LMA has agreed to provide us with a detailed map showing clearly location of the drilling sites with information on depth etc of sites . This will help clarify the route of the East West Link and enable us to have a clearer idea of the real impact on inner Melbourne. . Note that LMA is undertaking a “Business Case” for the East West Link which will be completed next year or late this year.  There will be no access for the public to the justification for construction of the East West Link as it is regarded as commercial in confidence. So the information about drilling might be the only material to which we will be privy.