After speaking with a few residents along the rail corridor within the borders of the City of Unley, having spoken to staff at DPTI, heard an address by DPTI CEO Rod Hook earlier in the week and having attended the last meeting of the group known as G-RAG I sense the pot is about to boil over in Goodwood and surrounding suburbs if something does not change.
I am witnessing a growing resentment by the residents of Goodwood, Forestville, Millswood, Clarence Park and Black Forest to what they see as their concerns being dismissed by DPTI or being given lip service at best. I am seeing both residents and officers of DPTI feeling the pressure and being challenged.
If I am right we may see some of these people experiencing health issues in the not too distant future. I sincerely hope I am not.
It was only a week or so ago when I reported that I thought people on both sides of this equation at the last CAG meeting were talking to each other and listening. In the short time since I am now hearing the opposite is the case.
People apparently walked out of the CAG meeting saying “a …… complete waste of time”. Numbers at this week’s G-RAG meeting were well down I understand and I since have found that there are those who have decided attending those meetings are also a waste of time and will not be going back.
It appears in other words that my earlier observations were accurate and that this group needed to concentrate on Goodwood issues, particularly around Devon Street South and Victoria Street. The intensity of concerns centred on that region, and they are dealing with more than any other area, are such that they cannot do justice to the concerns of other regions, like the Cromer Parade region, The Canterbury/Parker Terrace region, and the Cowper Road region. In other words I believe this is creating a different and dangerous tension.
After reporting on this blog site not that long ago that workers were being congratulated for getting the project ahead of schedule it my understanding listening to DPTI CEO on Monday night before our last council meeting that trains will be running again on the Seaford (Noarlunga) line in December. By my calculation that is 3 months after what was originally promoted.
Such a delay is going to extend the grief of all the people I have just mentioned AND also those commuters from further down the line who have been hitting talk back radio in the last few days.
Rumours that Council will take over from DPTI (as promoted in public by DPTI representatives) to design and construct the greenways bike path and associated landscaping is getting council into trouble too. Incorrectly I might add.
The fact is Council have become involved at the level they can, and that is trying to facilitate a better dialogue with residents on this project. We can’t simply push DPTI aside and takeover. We must be invited to particpate and can only particpate within the confines established by DPTI, whose projects these are (except the Creek diversion).
DPTI may handball some of this to Council (as a subcontractor being paid by DPTI) but this is yet to be confirmed. It appears at this stage that DPTI will keep this responsibility for the bike path and landscaping north of the East Avenue crossing and that they will ask Council to take responsibility south of that crossing.
Whatever happens this cannot commence until DPTI confirm what geographical space is available to allow design, let alone construction. In other words were will the rail fences be. This they have yet to do.
Hopefully an information session planned for Sunday 24th March at Forestville Reserve will circumvent any breaking points I am concerned may be close.
I understand that there will be stands for all 5 projects that we are dealing with at present
Goodwood Junction Rail Separation
Brownhill Creek/Keswick Creek stormwater diversion
Greenways bike path
More on this when I learn more.
I heard Rod Hook speak too and I think the said that the Seaford railway extension will be ready by the end of the year. I think Goodwood Junction is a different project and will be done before this. DPTI website says August and September for the trains to be running again on Noarlunga / Tonsley lines.
The original deadline was for September.
The December comment I am sure will be put to the next CAG meeting. There will be many awaiting the answer.