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Residents deserve answers

Reading a Newspaper

Friday, 18 October 2019

Recently the Andrews State Government announced its plan for Skyrail at Mooroolbark and Lilydale, the gateway to the Yarra Valley. Removing these dangerous crossings is certainly needed, however removing genuine community consultation is not. Many questions remain unanswered. There is silence from the Government about the need to duplicate the track between Mooroolbark and Lilydale, a station at Kinley Estate, the net loss of over 120 car parks at Lilydale, and the plan to demolish the 130 year old heritage Mooroolbark Station.

Our community deserves to be engaged in the process, consulted and listened to.

Unfortunately, the Government intends to change the local Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme without holding a formal consultation process in accordance with the Planning and Environment Act. This will stifle our community’s voice and input into this key infrastructure change.

What does this mean? The changes will allow the Government’s Level Crossing Removal Project to bypass and remove all permit triggers ordinarily required by law from the Council. Local residents, businesses, community groups, and the Council will have no say or power in relation to planning, design or construction.

This is an extremely disappointing outcome because it means the community will be denied the opportunity to express their views, as they would in any other planning scheme amendment proposal, in an independent forum.

Our community deserves better and deserves to be heard.

Regularly meeting with residents, businesses and community groups, I’ve heard what matters to you for this infrastructure project. Genuine consultation and a re-evaluation of the project scope could deliver significant improvements to the rail corridor and address critical infrastructure needs of our community, particularly given the anticipated growth at the Kinley residential development at Lilydale Quarry, Cave Hill.

The Lilydale Line is consistently the worst performing Metro line and desperately requires duplication of the rail track between Mooroolbark and Lilydale, as well as a new station at Kinley and upgrading of the bridge and intersection on Mooroolbark Road at Hull Road. Our community deserves more, not less, car parking at Lilydale to cater for existing and future demand for people in Lilydale and further afield in Mount Evelyn, Wandin, Seville, Coldstream and Yarra Glen. And, we must preserve our heritage: important historical buildings like Mooroolbark Station should be valued not demolished.

I’ll continue to voice the community’s concerns and aspirations in the Victorian Parliament and together we can work toward better outcomes in our community.

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