Trains not tollroads
Yarra Council is helping lead a community campaign against the State Government’s proposed east-west road.
The campaign will call for government investment in trains not tollroads.
Council and community members are concerned because the east-west road threatens Yarra and Melbourne's liveability, including Melbourne's 2011 international rating as the World's Most Liveable City. The road would encourage more commuters from the eastern suburbs to drive through inner Melbourne, adding traffic and pollution to local streets.
To read more about the campaign, download the Trains Not Tolls brochure below, which was distributed to all residents in March 2013.
Trains Not Tolls - March 2013 (445.60 KB)
In May 2012, the State Government allocated $15 million over two years for planning works for the road. In the same month, the government began test drilling in Alexandra Parade for the project. Here is a media release issued by Council following the government's $15 million funding announcement.
Here is more information on:
Upcoming community campaign
Background information on the east-west road
New members to join committee to campaign for better public transport
Council recently sought nominations from community members and business operators to join the Yarra Public Transport Advocacy Campaign Steering Committee (PTACSC).
This committee was established in 2012 to advocate for improved public transport and to support the campaign to build a new Doncaster rail line.
The committee has also opposed the proposed east–west road tunnel extension between the Eastern and the Tullamarine freeways.
In 2013, the committee will develop and implement a campaign action plan, review proposals and make recommendations to Council for consideration.
The PTACSC will consist of community and business plus representatives from Bicycle Network, Public Transport Users Association, Victoria Walks, Yarra Campaign for Action on Transport, and Yarra Climate Action Now.
Councillors Jackie Fristacky, Sam Gaylard, and Stephen Jolly will also sit on the committee.
Meetings will be held every month outside of business hours, at Fitzroy Town Hall (201 Napier Street).
For more information, contact Jane Waldock on 9205 5733.
A public rally was held in Yarra on World Carfree Day on Saturday 22 September.
The rally was organised by Yarra Campaign for Action on Transport (YCAT), in partnership with the Coalition of Transport Action Groups and the Protectors of Public Land, to send a clear message that the community wants the Doncaster Rail Project and not a freeway.
On 21 August 2012, about 40 people attended a snap protest (Say No to East West Link Yes To Doncaster Rail Link) in Carlton.
Organised by the Protectors of Public Lands Victoria and the Carlton Residents' Association, the protest was held near the intersection of Canning and Neill streets.
The Linking Melbourne Authority (the State Government authority which is managing test drilling for the east-west road) has installed drilling equipment in that area. Yarra Mayor Cr Geoff Barbour and some of his fellow Councillors attended the protest (as pictured above).
Council response to Department of Transport position
On 20 August 2012, the Department of Transport secretary Jim Betts was reported in The Age championing the east-west project, saying it would potentially add billions to Victoria's economy. Here is a Council media release responding to Mr Betts' comments.
Yarra Mayor called on Melbourne Council to deny drilling request
In July 2012, Yarra's Mayor wrote to Melbourne Council requesting that it deny a request from the Linking Melbourne Authority for it to carry out drilling in and around Royal Park.
In his letter, Cr Geoff Barbour said the east-west road would only exacerbate existing traffic congestion in the inner city.
"In denying consent, your committee would be acknowledging the detrimental impact that the road would have on our residential communities," Cr Barbour wrote. "...If we are to protect the liveability of Melbourne, the focus needs to shift to more sustainable public transport options like Doncaster Rail," he wrote.
"Every train from Doncaster will take 800 cars off the Eastern Freeway and Yarra and Melbourne streets."
Cr Barbour said Yarra Council had not been able to consider the question of consent when it came to the drilling which is occurring in Alexandra Parade in Yarra because that land does not fall under Council's authority. Here is Cr Barbour's letter to Melbourne Council (604.79 KB).
The Future Melbourne committee decided to provide permission for the drilling. The minutes of the committee meeting are available on Melbourne Council's website
Upcoming community campaign
Council has formed a community steering committee to run a public transport advocacy campaign. Council has allocated $100,000 in its budget to fund the campaign.
Council believes that investment in public transport is the best fix for traffic congestion as experience has shown that providing more roads only encourages more people to use cars.
The campaign will support the creation of a new train line between Doncaster and Melbourne's central business district. Here is more information about the Doncaster Rail Project.
The steering committee includes Yarra Councillors Sam Gaylard, Jackie Fristacky and Stephen Jolly, local residents and representatives from the Public Transport Users Association, Bicycle Network Victoria, Victoria Walks, Yarra Climate Action Now (YCAN) and Yarra Campaign for Action on Transport (YCAT).
Here are links to the websites of committee members:
Yarra Campaign for Action on Transport (YCAT) website
Yarra Climate Action Now (YCAN) website
Victoria Walks website
Bicycle Network Victoria website
Public Transport Users Association website
In May 2012, Darebin Council also joined the the fight against the east-west road. Yarra Council had written to its neighbour asking for its support in the campaign against the road. Darebin Council subsequently resolved to oppose the project.
"Council supports the opposition to the tunnel as it provides for the growth in private motor vehicle travel and does not improve public transport, walking and cycling which are the most affordable and sustainable ways for most of the population to get to the Central Business District," Darebin Council said in a letter to Yarra Council. The trains not tollroads campaign is part of a wider push for better public transport across Melbourne. Yarra Council is a member of the Metropolitan Transport Forum (MTF), an advocacy group which involves Councils from across Melbourne. More information about how you can support the campaign for better public transport is available on the MTF's pt4me2 website.
Background information on the east-west road
The east-west road was originally proposed by Rod Eddington in a State Government-commissioned report released in 2008. More information about the Eddington Report is available on this State Government website.
Yarra Council strongly opposed the 18-kilometre road tunnel proposed in the Eddington Report.
Here is Yarra Council's submission to the Eddington Report (1.38 MB) and Appendix One: An analysis of Melbourne's transport patterns and trends (2.06 MB)
In late 2008, the then Brumby State Government abandoned the east-west road proposal. However, the Baillieu State Government has revived the proposal.
Both the Curtin and Newman reports have been forwarded to the Minister for Transport and Senior Transport officials to assist the State Government in the scoping for Stage Two of the Doncaster Rail feasibility study.
For more information, view the reports and associated appendices:
See also the agenda from Council Meeting, Tuesday, 4 December 2012.
Further informationJane Waldock
Manager - Strategic Transport & Environment
Back to top