The Sky Rail Project is fast turning into EastWest Tunnel drama 2 with local residents holding the Victorian State Government to ransom over demands to not build it.
From an observers point of view, millions of dollars are at stake, thousands of hours travel time affected, the future affecting the lives of Melburinans into the future.
Sky train project for Melbourne’s busy Cranbourne-Pakenham line gets go ahead
A nine-metre-high elevated track will be built along Melbourne’s Cranbourne-Pakenham line to carry a sky train, part of the Victorian Government’s effort to combat traffic congestion.
As part of the $1.6 billion project announced on Sunday, nine level crossings will be removed along the Cranbourne-Pakenham line, with three sections of the track to be elevated.
The plan, floated earlier this year, will also free up 11 MCGs worth of open space.
The Government said the new track would include barricades to stop train commuters being able to look down into houses and backyards along the route.
“This is going to significantly reduce road congestion. Some of these boom gates are down for up to 87 minutes in every two-hour morning peak period,” Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said.
“We know it’s a significant safety risk and causes great frustration to local motorists.”
Construction on the sky train is expected to start this year, but some residents have already voiced their anger.
Karlee Browning said her Carnegie house, which backs onto the line, would be completely overshadowed, and the mother of two was also worried about safety.
“[There’s] a very real possibility that there could be a derailment onto my house onto my family,” she said.
“It’s not just suburban trains, we’re talking about freight trains that could weigh up to 80,000 tonnes fully laden.
“We have a roof full of solar panels, and I have not doubt it is going to be a huge overshadowing.”
Ms Browning said given the built-up nature of the area, the open spaces touted by the Government would likely become car parks, not open space.
Legal options, compensation ‘talked about’
Hundreds of concerned and angry residents attended a community meeting at Murumbeena to discuss the issue.
Ms Browning, who was one of the organisers, said she was also concerned about the effect the sky rail would have on the value of properties and would seek compensation.
“Legal action is something that is being talked about [among residents],” she said.
“I want to be compensated for the value that’s being slashed off my house.
“I want to be compensated for the things I’ve invested in my house like the $6,000 solar panelling that will be rendered unless.
“I want to be compensated for impact on my family, on my security, on my privacy.”
Nobody voted for sky rail: Opposition
Opposition spokesman David Davis said the Government never gave residents the chance to chance to vote on the plan.
“Local communities will be shocked by this proposal; they were not given warning,” he said.
“A massive train line up in the air impacting communities with deafening noises and massive spaces underneath that will become anti-social areas.
“It will cut a swathe through established suburbs, shocking people and damaging communities.
“This is not what was promised at the election. Nobody voted for sky rail.”
Ms Allen would not say if any compensation would be offered to those living along the rail line, but said consultations would be held with the local community.
“We’re wanting to make sure that the community has an opportunity, particularly on having a say what they want to see that open space used for,” she said.
“This is certainly going to create a lot of conversations in the local community, and that is why the next phase of intense community consultation is going to start today.”
Victoria’s Premier defends sky rail project against claims of lack of consultation
Victoria’s Premier insists the public was properly consulted about a controversial $1.6 billion plan for an elevated rail line in Melbourne’s south-east, despite fierce criticism from locals who claim it came as a surprise.
The consultation process for Labor’s $1.6 billion sky rail project was adequate, despite criticism from planning experts and residents, Premier Daniel Andrews says.
At the Chisholm Institute in Dandenong yesterday to announce that, of the 2000 jobs created by the nine level crossing removals, 200 would be apprentices or graduate engineers , Mr Andrews defended his government’s handling of the project.
‘‘ It is totally incorrect to assert that the elevated option was not discussed with the local community,’’ Mr Andrews said. ‘‘ It was.’’
He said there had been a ‘‘ respectful’ ’ approach to affected residents with one-on-one talks with authorities .
Local residents claim they had no idea that nine-metre high rail flyovers would be built to replace level crossings along the Cranbourne-Pakenham rail corridor.
The Planning Institute has also criticised the process.
The government said the project was not sent to Infrastructure Victoria for scrutiny because it was an election commitment and the body was only established in the second half of 2015.
No Skyrail on the Frankston Line
Justin Scott created the group on February 9, 2016
Petitioning Sonya Kilkenny MP
Carrum & Patterson Lakes Forum acts in a capacity to give residents a voice. Below is a summary of these comments, which have been made surrounding the strong likelihood that the “skyrail” be proposed for the Frankston Line.
If you are a resident seeking an alternative to the skyrail then please sign the petition.
The most invasive option
Concrete monstrosity not compliant with the character of small beachside towns, and the concrete structure once complete with overhead wires may well reach in excess of 4-stories
Potential negative consequences for property values, considering the overshadowing of backyards and blocking of bay views
Noise and ground vibration to travel further creating environmental carnage, when compared to an underground solution
Potential place for anti-social activity to occur
That creates a ‘seaside boulevard’
Relocation of stations in conjunction with an underground solution, or improvements to arterials to improve Nepean Highway traffic
Underground rail networks and roads have been implemented locally at Safety Beach, Melbourne and across the globe. The water table is no excuse and raised rail does not always equate to a more cost-effective solution
The argument that space is better used for a raised option is false; an underground option leaves arguably more room for shops and increased parking
Sky rail plan backed by 82% of residents
A new poll for the Andrews government has found its ‘‘ sky rail’ ’ plan – elevating rail tracks to remove level crossings in Melbourne’s south-east – is supported by 82 per cent of residents.
But residents opposed to the plan, and the state opposition, have ridiculed the survey, in part because it was done via thousands of ‘‘ robo-calls’ ’ to residents in some areas.
Researcher EY Sweeney was commissioned by the Level Crossing Removal Authority to conduct a survey of the community living or travelling along the Caulfield-Dandenong rail corridor.
Residents were surveyed by whatEY Sweeney called ‘‘ computerassisted telephone interviewing’’ , and via faceto-face interviews.
The poll found that among 2640 interviews done via phone and door-to-door polls, 82 per cent of residents were either ‘‘ strongly in favour’ ’ or ‘‘ in favour’’ .
But several angry residents affected by the elevated rail plan said that door-to-door pollsters in at least one street in Carnegie had deliberately avoided houses with a ‘‘ No sky rail’ ’ sign on their front fence.
The poll follows transport groups such as the Public Transport Users Association, the RACV and the Bus Association of Victoria voicing their support for ‘‘ sky rail’’ .
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said the new research showed there was strong support for the plan to remove nine level crossings by elevating parts of the Cranbourne-Pakenham line.
Ms Allan conceded some were concerned about the project, but said they were being listened to. Public Transport Users Association spokesman Daniel Bowen said the survey appeared to reflect that, while some residents were concerned about the elevated rail plans, ‘‘ most people just want the crossings removed, and as quickly as possible’’ .
Several residents opposed to the plan criticised the poll.
Edward Meysztowicz, whose home is affected by the elevated rail plan, said the survey was ‘‘ directed towards a conclusion supporting elevated rail’’ .
He described the poll as part of a public relations-led
process that amounted to ‘‘ persuasion by statistics’ ’ that were ‘‘ very easily abused to support one argument or another’’ .
Mark Nicoll is a Murrumbeena resident who lives 500 metres from the rail line. He is opposed to the project because it includes only two rail lines, and he argues more tracks are needed to cope with future growth. He received one of the ‘‘ robo-calls’ ’ asking for his views on the project. He said the recording had given him four options for why the project needed to be built as an elevated rail structure.
‘‘ I pressed the fifth option – ‘don’t know’ – and then all it did was repeat the questions,’’ he said. ‘‘ I then said, ‘This is bullshit’ , and … the phone went click.’’
Opposition planning spokesman David Davis said the poll should be discounted in the debate about whether the project should proceed .
Source: The AgeDigital Edition: Clay Lucas | Sky rail plan backed by 82% of residents