On Thursday, community members delivered a petition on behalf of 700 people calling for a stop to the $16 billion North East Link toll road.
Members of Parliament Sam Hibbins (Victorian Greens spokesperson for Transport) and Clifford Hayes (Sustainable Australia Party) accepted the petition and delivered it to decision makers.
“[The North East Link is] a lazy solution to frustrated residents in the North-East corridor that will only increase the city’s dependence on cars,” said community member Cynthia Pilli on the steps of Parliament.
“We are urging our government representatives to stand up to the road lobby and stop this mega toll road” said Claudia Gallois, Friends of the Earth’s Sustainable Cities spokesperson.
“We need sustainable solutions: Doncaster rail and expanded and improved bus services,” added Heidelberg local Don Stokes.
The event comes at the end of the public hearings where concerned citizens had the opportunity to raise issues about the project before an independent panel.
Community members are concerned about the 26,000 mature trees and 9 MCGs worth of open space that will be bulldozed for the widening of the road. A petition to protect the National Trust’s ‘Victorian Tree of the Year’ River Red Gum in Bulleen has received over 4,000 signatures.
“We’re worried the North East Link will lock Melbourne into a future of toll roads such as the East West Link, when the community is crying out for more public transport,” said Gallois.
Locals gathered at Parliament steps dressed up as trees, wearing green, with banners and placards in tow. They are urging the government to put people and the environment first and stop this destructive road from going ahead.
Now that the formal process is over, it's imperative we keep up community pressure to ensure this mega road does not go ahead.
We're calling on our government to invest in much needed public transport such as Doncaster Rail and Melbourne Metro 2.
Email the Planning Minister today!
Let's flood the Minister's inbox and let him know that the public does not want this mega road to go ahead.