VTA blasts Fishermans Bend proposal

VTA slams Victorian Government's plan to transform Fishermans Bend into a housing estate

By Ruza Zivkusic | February 21, 2011

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has slammed the Victorian Government’s plan to transform Fishermans Bend, near the West Gate Bridge, into a housing estate.

VTA CEO Philip Lovel says it has not been approached for feedback and believes the project will greatly impact the transport industry.

The group has labelled the proposal a "grand scheme with a lot of issues".

"It will significantly affect the Port of Melbourne. There is no proposal to look at where the expansion of Port of Melbourne will go at, whether it’s Geelong or Hastings," Lovel says.

"There’s a lot of work that needs to be done before any consideration of increasing the urban development down there goes ahead."

Planning Minister Matthew Guy plans to redevelop 200 hectares of land at Fishermans Bend to provide housing for tens of thousands of people.

Guy plans to establish an Urban Renewal Authority in the next four months to oversee a 20 to 30-year plan for the area.

Lovel says the current link from Fishermans Bend to Westgate is blocked and traffic noise levels are too high for a neighbourhood.

"We’re located in the midst of it all so we know what the traffic problems are like. There are major traffic issues in the morning from 7am to 10am and 3pm to 7pm.

"A lot more consideration has to be made about infrastructure."

Shipping Australia CEO Llew Russell says the group will oppose the plan if it affects the port operations and planning.

"We are surprised as we haven’t been approached about it. One would hope that we can collaborate to meet everyone’s requirements but you can’t do that if you’re not consulted," he says.

Russell says the plan needs to be considered in the context of the National Ports Strategy, which cites the need for coordinated planning and the impact of urbanisation on port operations.

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