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Settled Variations

posted Aug 19, 2010, 12:16 AM by Site Editor   [ updated Aug 19, 2010, 2:48 AM ]
The Premier said today that "the route is pretty well settled", but the Department of Transport (DoT) has been telling us that the final alignment won't be determined until the various assessments are completed and the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) referral is signed off by the Planning minister. Which is correct?

John Brumby: "Well we are basically trying to work with the residents to give them as much help and support as possible.
But we need to move the project forward. There has been as you know a great deal of consultation between the department
and the minister and with residents. We are trying to move the project forward, and at the same time give residents the sort
of certainty and support that they need. When you are talking about the exact route you are talking about minor variations.
The route is basically pretty well settled."

The help and support residents most want is accurate and timely information, and some real consultation. We are left wondering why we were not presented with alignment options and other crucial engineering information long before July 12. Why weren't preliminary engineering assessments done beforehand and made public to inform consultation, as was done for RRL stage-2? DoT has provided no rationale for its recommendation of the current preferred alignment (the one Brumby now says is "pretty well settled") and it is hard to have confidence in the engineering decisions when 'variations' are still occurring that mean the difference between a house being demolished or saved. Was this route ever properly planned, or is this engineering by-the-seat-of-the-pants?