Residents fighting against a new roadway they claim will destroy a Yarraville parkland have accused Transurban of a cover-up for refusing to release an aerial image of the project.
Transurban has refused repeated requests to release the image of its redesigned Western Distributor proposal to the public despite showing it in briefings to Maribyrnong Council and water authorities.
Concerned Locals of Yarraville spokesman Scott Ellerton said the aerial image provides the best indication of how the project will impact on the area.
“If there was ever any doubt about the impact the proposal will have on residents due to proximity, visual impacts and effect on Stony Creek Reserve, this image only cements these concerns and is much more powerful then the texta lines supplied as part of this consultation period,” he said.
“We think they don’t want to release it because the shock of the image will galvanise community opinion against Transurban’s proposal.”
Mr Ellerton said Transurban’s decision to only show the image to certain stakeholders has created concern regarding the true value Transurban places upon community feedback.
Transurban spokeswoman Bridget Brady defended the refusal to release the image.
“The image shown was a draft diagram prepared to show landowners, such as councils and water authorities, how the project might affect land they manage, just as the visualisations shown on our website and at recent community sessions were prepared to show residents how the project might affect their area from street level,” she said.
Ms Brady said feedback from recent community sessions and online will be taken into account.
“Once we have further developed the proposal we will be able to share more detailed information, including visual perspectives to respond to community questions and concerns.”
Plans ‘still being assessed’
Williamstown MP Wade Noonan, who backed the original Western Distributor project on the proviso it was matched by 24-hour truck bans on residential streets, will not reveal whether he supports the redesigned proposal.
He said the Western Distributor is still being assessed under the Victorian government’s market-led proposals guidelines.
“I have not met with Transurban about this issue,” he said.
“As we have said all along, we will be making sure that the proposal is right for Victorians and represents value for money for Victorian taxpayers.”
Mr Noonan said the state government will conduct its own consultation if the proposal progresses to the next stage.
“This is a government that is committed to being open and transparent with the community, and to consulting widely and properly, and ensuring that projects actually stack up – not like our predecessors who came up with half baked ideas like East West Link.”