Metro Rail – Good news on trees

Metro Rail have just released this document – it answers questions from the panel on whether the rail tunnel will go under or over the CityLink tunnel….and about the tree replacement.

Not yet a done deal but this sounds much better than before!!  I have asked that it is tightened a bit further so that we don’t have demarcation between City of Melbourne and City of Port Phillip.  I’d hate to see one side flourishing and the other side struggling.

The tree info is in the second part of this document

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Metro Rail – Update

I’ve been away for a week and so I thought I’d better give everyone a quick update.

As I mentioned in my last update – the Botanica submission went in and seemed to be well received.  Since then there have been a number of other submissions.

Probably the most interesting was one recommending that the station is located nearer the city, on the eastern side of St Kilda Rd near the Shrine.  This would be MUCH better for us but my reading of the tea-leaves is that this is unlikely – possible but unlikely.

It is worth remembering something that our barrister told me several times, all submissions are based on their merit – it does not matter if it is mentioned once or a hundred times, once is enough.  So it will be considered and we do not need to say anything additional.

At the AGM I mentioned that one of the key documents is something called the EPR’s.  These form the basis of the contract with the tunneling companies and so are fundamental.  A new version was released on Monday and the panel has asked for feedback.  We will be submitting feedback if our domain experts deem it necessary.  You will see that one of our experts (Terry Bellair) has already had a lot of his comments added to the document.  You can see the full document if you click on the link below

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Metro Rail – Moment of truth

Well after many months of work – our day arrived today and “we” presented the Botanica submission to the Metro Rail Panel.  I have attached our outline and the PowerPoint pack that one of our experts used.

Many thanks to the support from Jan, Jane, Jan, Alex, Veronica and Sandy.

It was a very long day (9am – 6pm) and all focused on Domain precinct.  By the end of the day I was really pleased with our team of experts, lawyers and barrister.  The issues we wanted raised were raised, our experts were subjected to intense cross examination…and survived …we were heard and listed to.

Well done Paul, Nick, John, Terry and Neville.

I have to add that the ‘noise guy’ for Domain was good but struggled badly under the cross examination.  Also the planning guy for G12 / Domain was very disappointing.  He didn’t understand the process and had not done sufficient work – it was clear to me and VERY clear to the panel.

Now we sit back and wait…well for a couple of weeks

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Metro Tunnel – National Trust

The National Trust also presented yesterday – their report is attached.

My main take aways from that session were

  • They feel very strongly that the new tunnel must go under the Citylink road tunnel (that crosses under St Kilda Rd near the Melbournian).
  • They feel very strongly about the trees and made several very well reasoned arguments.  But they accept some will/should go and work must go into replacements.  They even said that the value of the trees is much higher than replacement trees and that Metro Rail should provide funding for extra amenities to compensate.
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Metro Tunnel – Hallmark presentation

George Swinburne (Jan’s cousin) made the attached presentation yesterday on behalf of himself and the Hallmark OC.  Covers a lot of issues that we have in common.  158-submission-to-advisory-committee-on-behalf-of-the-hallmark-and-gg-and-mj-swinburne-19-sept-2016

It is worth noting that it has been emphasized several times that having the same issue raised multiple times does not change the value of the argument – if it is a good idea mentioned by just one submitter then it will be considered.

Metro Rail – Melbourne Uni

Spent the morning listening to Melb Uni submission.  They are v concerned about noise / vibration, thought it may be relevant to us.

They have an internal team of six full time staff plus some heavy hitting legal help…our barrister is part of their team.

An interesting pickup by their legal team was the lack of consistency in the various documentation.  Things like ….in some instances Metro Rail say that they will ‘avoid’ an issue and in other places they will ‘minimise’ the issue.  Didn’t seem to be logical reasonas for difference, almost simply different authors.  But it is more than grammar as ‘avoid’ obviously is much stronger than minimise.

Their vibration issues are more dramatic than ours – if their medical research equipment is impacted then they cannot operate and cannot easily relocate it.  At least with us, even if we’re unhappy, they can offer us a suite at the Sofitel.

One of their likely impacted labs is where they do infectious disease research (Ebola and the like)…hmm don’t want problems there!!

Other good comparison for us…they have concerns about their carpark access too!

I’m hopeful that the things they found, get generalised and placed into the EPRs will help us!!