A big group of FFRR people attended Maribyrnong City Council's public question-time session last night at Maribyrnong town hall. Group members put a series of questions to councillors regarding council's position on the severe noise, vibration and air quality impacts posed by the RRL project (as identified in the previously confidential Environment Protection Agency report).
The group sought commitment from councill to step-up its advocacy efforts in partnership with Maribyrnong residents and business owners impacted by the RRL project. Council has started to be more active recently on the RRL issue, after playing an extremely low-key role since July last year when RRL landed on the municipality.
Affected residents welcome this shift. Given that state government and the Department of Transport been as reluctant to share information with Council as they have with affected residents and traders, it makes good sense to pool efforts of Council and the community in fighting for the best possible outcome for Footscray and Maribyrnong. The state government and Department of Transport have repeatedly shown a willingness to trample the rights and interests of Footscray people in their desparation to push through the RRL project. We need Maribyrnong Council to stand up for us against these continuing abuses of power.
It is important to restate that the FFRR group has never opposed the RRL project, in fact most of our people are strong supporters of rail development. We believe that it is entirely possible to have better trains and
a thriving, healthy community. The future health and livability of Footscray should not be sacrificed because of the cost blowout in this secretive and poorly planned project.
Questions put to Maribyrnong Council - 19/04/2011
- Will Maribyrnong Council work with residents via a joint advocacy
effort in negotiating with state government and the Department of
Tranport to get a great outcome for Footscray in respect of the RRL
- What levels of rail noise, vibration and air quality is Maribyrnong
Council willing to accept for the People of Footscray and, if Council is
uncertain on this, is Council willing to work with residents and traders
to determine levels acceptable to the community?
- Can Maribyrnong Council tell us the how many Footscray residents it
expects to be living within 500 metres of the train corridor 15 years
from now - including the numbers living in the new McNab Avenue
development, the Joseph Road precinct and high-density development areas
in other parts of the corridor such as Buckley St - and whether there is
any modelling on how much money the Footscray economy could lose if many
of these apartments become unliveable because of "chronic noise-induced
sleep disturbances" (direct quote from EPA report).
- Has the state government or Department of Transport advised
Maribyrnong Council of the actual construction dates for each of the RRL
work packages affecting Maribyrnong, and will council take any action to
assist residents who wish to stay in place past the August 31st eviction
date in the event that construction is delayed for any period of time?
- The EPA says it is possible that the RRL project plans to build new train lines without adequate noise protection may be inconsistent with: the Transport Integration Act 2010; Melbourne 2030 initiatives; Our Environment Our Future; and Freight Future. Question: Is Maribyrnong Council prepared to consider legal action to protect its constituents from the State Government knowingly exposing Footscray residents to extreme levels of noise, vibration and air pollution?
- South Australia and Tasmania have noise criteria of no more than 60
Laeq for residents next to existing train lines and less than that for
new train lines. NSW and Queensland are similar. Question: Does
Maribyrnong Council believe it is reasonable for Footscray residents and
businesses to have the same rights as our interstate counterparts?
- What representation has council already made to state government
regarding the detrimental impacts of the RRL project on Maribyrnong
residents, and what measures has the council taken to date to protect
the interests of affected residents and traders?