Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

Recent media observations have many asking will the north-south corridor tunnels be constructed. The observations prompting this centre around whether there will be further compulsory land acquisitions.


Black Forest PS BridgeI have also been asked whether the community reference group will be reconstituted again. I have not known the answers to these questions. Questions I have forwarded to the Department of Infrastructure and the Minister. Questions that have remained unanswered for many months.

That is, short of what we all know or don’t know from media statements. That is that all will be revealed close to Christmas once the new Government will have completed their review.

I have received two signals this week that may provide some idea of what is likely.

The first of these was seeing a drilling rig testing for underground water. The location; Irwin Avenue, Millswood. This, a whole kilometre away from South Road.

I read this to mean the tunnels will still be part of the project. Wholesale land acquisitions (from Richmond to Darlington) would therefore not be on the agenda.

This does not necessarily mean no further land questions, however. The concerns that Minister Koutsantonis has with the overpass into Anzac Highway remains a mystery. This means anxiety will remain for those property owners in Everard Park remain. Maybe too, some in Black Forest. Until the announcement he has promised that anxiety will remain, if not increase, noting Christmas is close.

In his letter to me, I glean that the community reference group will be reconstituted. I guess sometime in the new year.

What I understand from this is the project will proceed in the new year where it left off before the state election earlier this year. This means we will simply  have lost 12 months while we have all taken a collective deep breath.

If I am correct, then the program schedule will simply be extended by 12 months. This means 2023 will see extensive community consultation on a reference design mark II and detail design work just as was going to happen originally in 2022 with mark I. 2024 will then see the north-south corridor tunnels commence.