Category Archives: Metro Tunnel

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!!

Metro Tunnel – Discussion with Domain Precinct Mgr

Having met up unexpectedly at the EES Panel hearing on Wed, Jan Swinburne & Simon Adams, MMRA’s Domain Precinct manager, got together on Friday to discuss the current devts associated with the Domain Station construction.

  • Tree removal: The number of trees likely to be removed as part of the Domain Station construction has been considerably reduced with each tree removal now needing to be justified. In other good news, MMRA has engaged sustainability experts from LOCI to focus on the trees –  http://loci.melbourne Every effort will be made to maximise the likelihood of trees thriving. Appropriate soil type & depth as well as irrigation will be required for all tree plantings.
  • Albert Reserve: MMRA has managed to reduce the impact on the Albert Reserve. It is likely that some trees, including the Windsor Oak, will not need to be removed. The Boer War Monument will need to be removed & stored during station construction. No decision has yet been reached on its final location.
  • Acoustic shed: MMRA believes that the acoustic shed to be built in St Kilda Rd will protect Botanica from much (how much??) of the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) & construction noise. Simon was receptive to Jan’s suggestions of the shed being painted with trees or having vertical gardens.
  • Traffic flows during construction: Possible routes are still being worked on as are plans for Kings Way, Punt Rd, Canterbury Rd & Ferrars St to take up re-routed traffic. To allow station construction to take place, vehicle & bike lanes in St Kilda Rd are relatively easy to move, tram tracks obviously less so. Need to avoid creating curves which would result in tram screeching adding to the noise. Provision is being made for Botanica residents to access our St Kilda Rd driveway either via Bowen Lane or Bowen Cres depending on station construction requirements. Access to the city, Albert Park etc should be possible via Albert Rd during construction.
  • Traffic flows into the future: MMRA recognises that current traffic flows in this area are problematic for drivers, cyclists & pedestrians. Efforts are being made to work with the relevant authorities to improve future layout & traffic flows as part of the station project. This includes consulting with VicRoads re the current St Kilda Rd Safety Improvement Study.

Great summary, thanks Jan

Metro Tunnel – Process at work?

As many of you would recall, there was a stack of drilling late 2015 and early 2016.  This included a lot of drilling right on our doorstep.  My understanding of how this works is something like this

  • Metro Rail do a stack of drilling
  • They also do some modelling.  Essentially they try and work out how hard the digging will be and what risks they are likely to encounter.
  • They send the models and the data to the short listed bidders.
  • The short listed bidders are told – we think you have enough information to prepare you bids (ie lock in your price).  If you don’t think you have enough information, let us know and we will do some more.

Well you’ll notice some more drilling lately.  As I understand it, this is a result of the short listed bidders saying….”That area near the NGV, we need some more drill samples there.”

It shows the process at work and gives me some comfort that things are working.  I’m also pleased to see that none of the extra drilling is near us (to date)…means all the bidders think this part is not of concern to them.   And remember that this is three separate consortium working independently.