The communications people from the RRL team are phoning affected residents and traders this evening to let everyone know that the transport minister has announced the official go-ahead for the RRL project. No further information has been provided at this point, other than that we can expect to read the details in tomorrow's papers.
Whilst the go-ahead will provide some certainty to traders and commercial property owners currently stuck in limbo, there is no information about the government's intentions regarding the major noise and pollution impacts of the project raised in the previously confidential Environmental Protection Agency report. With the government's public comments on the EPA report ("a scandalous cover-up") and the commitment made by Mr Mulder that he would ensure the welfare of people in the path of this project, we had cause to believe that the new government intended to modify the project accordingly.
Mr Mulder also assured us, when an FFRR delegation met with him on the 9th February, that he would keep us informed of the review process - at that stage, still in the early stages of development - and the outcomes of any review. This latest news comes as quite a surprise to affected residents given that there has been no information forthcoming from the government about the shape and timing of the RRL review. Unfortunately, once again, affected residents are left to glean the story from media reports
We can only hope that the minister properly addresses the concerns of Footscray residents via the findings of his review and in his subsequent media comments.
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