One of our more astute residents has raised a question as to why haul the many tonnes of excavation through our suburban streets when it can be carted northwards up the rail line. A good question you may well ask.? And it is!
At the same time it is being suggested that Council has the right to approve or not approve the haulage route.
These are questions raised of me recently, amongst the plethora of queries I am still receiving (more on that later). Not knowing the answers I have had to seek input from our management, who are closely liaising with DPTI on the project (as noted in a recent blog they are having weekly meetings with them).
The advice received follows.
Para 2 (f) of the Decision Notification Form from the Governments Development Assessment Commission states that there is a requirement is to ‘consult’ with Unley Council. We are not in a position to approve or disallow.
Council has provided input into the Traffic, Mobility and Transportation plan preparation, then provided comments on the draft. Some of our input has been taken into account and some ignored. We have no ‘approval’ or ‘veto’ power over the plan.
Here is the real rub however and had we had the opportunity to deny access to our roads what then?
The rail corridor must continue to function for the interstate mainline operations and as a construction site for the rail upgrade and electrification work. Even if trucks could fit down the corridor, and there is no possibility of establishing a two way road down the corridor anyway, the truck movements would be totally incompatible with this other activity. You could not do both, even if the use as a haul route was physically possible.
Now that the project is commencing there will be disruptions. This is unfortunate but I believe most residents (at least most I have talked to) have recognised the end result will be worth the inconvenience. I am not trying to downplay the impact this development will have on the local area.
The reality however is that aging infrastructure must eventually be replaced or upgraded. Daily commuters who use Greenhill Road are experiencing considerable disruption as the gas main installation occurs – that project is spanning several months. Major infrastructure projects do impact on the local area. But there is a net community benefit when they are completed.
As a matter of interest, the excavation of the basement car park at the Living Choice development on the old Julia Farr site will generate a not dissimilar quantity of material. This also must negotiate a network of residential streets as part of its journey.
Having said all that if issues do arise that concern anyone living in the area of the project or the transport routes please take up your concerns with DPTI, or with your local member of State Government, Steph Keys.