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Kingston Mayor sets facts straight on Level Crossing Removal Projects

26 April 2018

Statement from Kingston Mayor Cr Steve Staikos: 

"Claims that Kingston Council is advocating in favour of rail over road at Edithvale and Bonbeach are simply false. 

The Victorian Government is responsible for deciding how the crossings will be removed and they have already made the decision that the level crossing removals at Edithvale and Bonbeach will be completed in a rail-under-road option.

Kingston Council has no position to support a so-called “Sky Rail” option – and reports of this are patently false.  

The Victorian Government has released an Environment Effects Statement on the project and is seeking feedback from residents, local councils and community groups.  

Council voted at its April meeting to endorse a submission that clearly states:

 “Whilst Officers have no significant concerns with the findings of the EES process, it is considered necessary that further assurances and agreements are provided to ensure commitment to ongoing monitoring and mitigation, particularly of groundwater levels and potential impacts on foreshore vegetation.”  

Our submission does not argue against the trench option, nor do we advocate for an elevated rail option.

I am disgusted that false accusations are being levelled on social media that are completely made up and politically motivated.

This is a once-in-a-generation project and Kingston Council wants to make sure the design of the rail trench is done correctly.  Council, as the custodians of the local environment, wants to make sure we include the best possible evidence in our submission to the EES panel. This is in line with an earlier Council resolution from April 2017 to make a submission to the EPBC and EES panels “to ensure the future sustainability and survival of the Edithvale Seaford Wetlands and their migratory bird habitat.”    

Therefore Council voted to have expert assistance - including a lawyer, hydrologist and ecologist – to help Council present its submission to the EES panel.  

I encourage anyone interested in the topic to read Council’s submission to the EES to see for themselves." 

Read the submission

 Minutes from the Council Meeting: 

8.7 Edithvale Bonbeach Environmental Effects Statement Submission

That Council:

1. Note this report in relation the Environmental Effects Statement for the Edithvale and Bonbeach Level Crossing Removal Project.

2. Endorse the proposed Council submission at Appendix 1 in relation the Environmental Effects Statement for the Edithvale and Bonbeach Level Crossing Removal Project.

3. Employ:

  • a legal advocate to present Council’s case to the EES panel as recommended in the officer report and in the legal advice,
  • expert witness(es) on
    • hydrogeology; and
    • ecology to provide independent assessments of the potential risks to the wetlands and to the birds – especially the rare migratory birds that depend on this habitat, and on the serious threats to the Coastal Banksia Woodland at Bonbeach resulting from the anticipated drawdown of 30-40 cm for the groundwater under the foreshore.
 

 

 

 

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