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The RRL community reference group to be established

posted Sep 29, 2010, 8:55 PM by Unknown user

4 members of FFRR had a meeting with Kimberley Dripps and an engineer from DoT on 30th Sep to clarify what actions DoT intends to take in response to our submission and to discuss how residents and DoT might work together throughout the life of the project.

Kimberley promised to establish an RRL community reference group (CRG), based on the the Westlink model. The Westlink CRG was established to facilitate community input into the identification, development and assessment of project alternatives and the preparation of the planning and consultation study. The group s chaired independently by Jeni Coutts (a communications consultant) and includes community, industry and council representation. The committee meets regularly every four to six weeks.

It is a mystery as to why a CRG was not established for the RRL project at the very beginning of the process.

According to the follow-up conversation with Kimberley, the details of how the RRL CRG will be formed etc has not been drafted by DoT, but we will keep pushing to make sure this happens soon.

Other discussion with DoT

Kimberley Dripps, also mentioned that DoT intends to appoint a welfare/advocacy officer to take care of residents needs throughout the project. FFRR has been asked by DoT for suggestions on where this position might be hosted (eg at Maribyrnong council, or another local social welfare agency). Kimberley also confirmed that, for those whose homes will be acquired, the cost of buyers advocates to find a new home will be covered.

Apart from those above, we clarified that DoT has no intention of implementing any noise abatement measures at all – as per the terms of the ancient Victorian railways Act.

Nor will they push for an increase in the “prescribed amount” to apply for interest free or modified governmental loans, which is set at a maximum of $500,000 under the terms of the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act (LACA). The advice from DoT on this is that we should take up the issue with the Attorney General!