What We Do
What is our campaign 'No Freeway through Banyule'
Following the State Government's announcement in December 2008
that it was going to build a freeway/tollway connecting from the
Western Ring Road to the Eastern Freeway, representatives from the
community formed Friends of Banyule.
Friends of Banyule is a not-for-profit community
organisation dedicated to the protection of the natural spaces
in our community that are threatened by the proposed
freeway/tunnel/viaduct. In 2011, the newly elected State
Government has indicated that it will continue to seek funding for
the proposed Feasibility Study for the NE Link.
A map of the proposed freeway/tunnel/viaduct that was published
in the Victorian Transport Plan is on the following link on the VicRoads website
Is Friends of Banyule affiliated with other
Friends of Banyule has formed a coalition with
other like-minded groups such as Warringal Conservation Society, Protectors of Public Lands and the Coalition of
Transport Action Groups.
We have come together to campaign to protect such places that
include Banyule Flats, Warringal Parklands, Yarra Flats and Bolin
Bolin Billabong. These spaces comprise a major north-south wildlife
corridor in Banyule and surrounding areas.
An Artist's Impression - by
Why are we campaigning against the
Why protect Banyule & Yarra Flats, Warringal
Parklands and Bolin Bolin Billabong?
Our local parklands hold significant environmental, cultural,
historical and artistic significance (eg. the Heidelberg School of
A copy of our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is also available
for download here in PDF format.
In an age of shrinking backyards and an ever-increasing
urbanised metropolis such as Melbourne, these natural spaces are
much more than sanctuaries for our native wildlife and remnant
flora - they are places for individuals, families and groups to
play, have festivals, relax and sometimes to simply enjoy the
wildlife and flora that exist in these spaces. These places have
important cultural and social significance, and they need our
protection. Climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and noise
pollution further strengthen the argument that building more
freeways is not the right direction to take.
Our aim is to give our natural spaces a voice, and to lobby State,
Federal and Local governments to protect them for wildlife, for our
community and for future generations, and to propose sustainable
transport options rather than freeways.
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Submissions in 2011
Meetings with Politicians
Meeting with Public Transport &
Roads Minister Terry Mulder
None of us have clarity on the Ballieu
government's stand on the North East Link and have therefore
requested a meeting with the new Minister for Public Transport and
Roads, Terry Mulder. We are concerned that the North East Link is
still on the planning board with the new government as they
expressed during their election campaign that they would 'look at
all options and potentially a feasibility study' for the North East
Link. We will keep you updated on any further news. We
would also encourage you to send letters to the Minister for Public
Transport and Roads directly as residents, outlining your concerns
about this potential freeway. Please find below the
relevant address details.
Hon Terry Mulder
Minister for Public Transport and Minister for
Level 16, 121 Exhibition Street
Note : Friends of Banyule is also
seeking a meeting with Terry Mulder on the status for the North
East Link - stay tuned for updates
Meeting with Planning Minister Matthew
We have also requested a meeting with the new
Planning Minister, Matthew Guy along with Planning Backlash
Victoria. Since the implementation of the Major Transport Projects
Facilitations Act in 2009, greater powers have been bestowed upon
the Planning Minister. This results in little or no opportunity for
communities to have any meaningful input or the ability to take any
action against inappropriate development once the project has been
declared 'a major infrastructure project'. It is imperative
therefore to also meet with the Planning Minister on the issue of
the North East Link. We will also keep you informed in relation to
this important meeting.
On November 30, 2010 Friends of
Banyule attended the Ivanhoe Community forum on the
Metropolitan Melbourne Investigation Discussion Paper from the
Victorian Environment Assessment Committee (VEAC). The VEAC investigation is one of the most
important reviews of Public Land in Victoria and the future of
Public Land could be decided by this Committee.
On January 10, 2011 Friends of
Banyule made a detailed submission to the Victorian
Environmental Assessment Council as part of their
Metropolitan Melbourne investigation for Public Land. The
submission focuses on the proposed North East Link Freeway, the
subsequent destruction of existing public open space and parklands
and their importance for protection of the environment, flora and
fauna, our culture and community well-being. Click on the following
link for a PDF download of the Friends of
Protest Meeting held outside Labor Candidate's office on
16 November 2010
Our protest meeting outside Anthony
Carbines office attraced a lot of media
Click on his link to watch a Video of the rally
posted on the Heidelberg Leader's website
Friends of Banyule organised the rally
to protest against the Brumby government's fialings to invest
inpublic transport and the election promise of $15.4 million to
study the $6 Billion Dollar freeway.
"The proposed road is so expensive it will need a toll to finance
it. The truck drivers who use streets like Rosanna Road to avoid
the CityLink toll will also refuse to pay a toll to use the North
East Link. In addition, we tend to forget that cars and trucks have
to leave freeways to access their final destinations. This freeway
will have big interchanges at Manningham Road and Lower Plenty
Road, which will increase traffic levels compared with the
present..." RMIT Public Transport Academic, Dr. Paul Mees says.
The Brumby government's is failing to adequately plan for
Melbourne's increasing population, including addressing vital bus
services improvements for the Banyule area in the form of a
SmartBus 'standard service' with increased frequency, a
coordination of train and bus service schedules and the duplication
of the Hurstbridge railway line.
Public transport network planning is currently non-existent and
the recent extension of the Urban Growth Boundary with areas
growing by over 1 Million over the next 10 years will be putting
even greater strains on our roads. Public transport is a necessity
but has been totally neglected for the past 11 years.
The Brumby Government has been pushing the NE Link as necessary
for freight movement but that is why CityLink was built. There are
many trucks travelling along routes like Rosanna Road to avoid
paying the CityLink toll. The solution for this is simple:
introduce a curfew for trucks and trucks should be forced to travel
via CityLink and pay the toll - the government should focus on
getting freight onto rail. Our parklands, our health and our
community are under threat by this freeway monster. It will destroy
one of Melbourne's historical and ecologically most sensitive areas
in the Inner East
Friends of Banyule Public Meeting held on 6
October a GREAT SUCCESS
The Public Meeting held in The Great
Hall at The Centre, Ivanhoe on Wednesday night 6 October 2010, was
a fantastic event with nearly 600 people coming to hear our Guest
We would like to thank everyone who
came along to hear our Speakers - Dr. Paul Mees, Darren Peters and
A special thank you goes to Rod Quantock, our MC for the night,
our Guest Speakers and Marion Ware, President of Friends
of Banyule for her opening address, as well as Ross
Spirou who provided the wonderful photos of The Banyule Flats for
the slide presentation.
Friends of Banyule would also like to thank the
candidates from political parties who attended and
participated : Paul Kennedy (Greens), Carl Ziebell
(Liberal), and Anthony Carbines (Labour). Our first Guest
Speaker, Dr. Paul Mees, from RMIT University, gave an overview of
the lack of planning and investment by successive State governments
in Melbourne's public transport system. He provided
solutions from 'best of breed' transport systems in European cities
and showed us how Zurich's Public Transport system is the best in
the world with only a small population - it is due to excellent
management and planning. We now know that there are resources
that can make this work in Melbourne and work well.
Dr. Paul Mees also advised us to use FOI (Freedom of
Information) as much as possible, as our governments are being much
less than transparent... that for Banyule, both 'long' &
'short' tunnel options are on the planning table by VicRoads at the
very least... we should be very concerned about an above-ground
freeway option also. Darren Peters from the South Merang
& Mernda Rail Alliance, spoke about the results that could be
accomplished by citizens who form strong & cohesive community
groups and work passionately to influence the government to
change. After years of broken promises by the incumbent
governments, his group has been very successful in changing
government policy. He reminded us that the government is
there to serve the interests of its constituents, not the corporate
purse and our campaign can be successful with enough will and
Kenneth Davidson , The Age Writer and Co-editor of the
magazine Dissent, spoke about the political machinations
behind the Government's transport policy, the vested interests
and the bulldozer mentality of VicRoads - which he described as an
unrestrained QANGO. During the Q & A session, our
political representatives were asked to clarify their position on
the proposed North-East Link freeway/tunnel/viaduct...
Anthony Carbines (Labour) advised that
he supported the tunnel option but not an above-ground freeway.
Many people in the crowd took issue with this, saying that such a
project could easily degenerate into an above-ground freeway for
part or all of the route.
Carl Ziebell (Liberals) advised that
his party would not commit to a freeway or tunnel - that both
options were 'off the table' until more investigation was
done. No firm commitments could be given either way.
Paul Kennedy (Greens) spoke out
against the building of the North-East Link - that it was an
unnecessary as there were plenty of more cost effective/alternative
options to provide relief for Banyule residents at much less cost
to taxpayers. In short, their plan as follows :
To everyone who donated to our cause, bought 'No Freeway through
Banyule' signs, joined our Member base on the night or is planning
to do so, a HUGE THANK YOU. We operate on a 'shoe-string'
budget with kind donations & memberships fees ($15.00 per
annum) from Members & Friends and we NEED YOUR ONGOING SUPPORT
Would you like to see more photos from the night ? -
they are on our Friends of Banyule Facebook webpage.
Some rally participants attended the Upper House of Parliament
to hear Planning Minister Madden move - "That pursuant to
section 46AH of the Planning and Environment Act 1987,
Amendment VC67 to the Victoria Planning Provisions be
ratified." It is understood Mathew Guy, Shadow
Plannning Minister, moved an amendment to exclude Clause 12
relating to high rise development along tram, bus and light
rail routes plus train stations.
The matter was adjourned as the Speaker deemed it necessary to
refer it for expert legal opinion. Greg Barber of the Greens party
gave notice of a motion to refer VC67 to a Committee. More
information/speeches are available at www.parliament.vic.gov.au
VC67 may not be raised until the next sitting of Parliament on
27 July. Further details will be posted on
Protectors of Public Lands website.
The Yarra River Action Alliance have come together out of
concern for the major development that is occurring on and around
the river in the City of Yarra. The Alliance is
rapidly growing in size as other people and groups emerge
with similar issues and concerns.
The Yarra River Action Alliance appreciate the need for urban
growth in order to meet the future needs of metropolitan
Melbourne, but the land on the Yarra River is a precious and finite
resource, and we are against any inappropriate or irresponsible
development on its banks. The river is our heritage and we need to
preserve it for future generations. A video is available on
the Vimeo website (register to view videos) http://www.vimeo.com/11110109 .
Sign their online petition at http://yarrariveractionalliance.com/?page_id=111.
Update from the 2nd Save Our Bush Alliance (S.O.B.A.)
Rally - June 2010 (posted 4 June 2010)
Photos from the Banyule Festival held in March
"What I love about my park" - paintings by local school
Thank you to all our members and supporters who attended
the Save Our Bush Rally and Bush
Funeral on the steps of Parliament House on February 24, 2010.
It was great to join forces with other groups such as Friends of
Pines Flora and Fauna, Save Coomoora Reserve Coalition
and the Green Wedges Coalition, who are all
fighting against the destruction of the native bushland and
parks by freeways. We had a lot of media in attendance
and turnout was good.
Click on this link
to our President's speech at the Rally (PDF
For more information on the SOBA Rally, click on this
link (PDF with active links)
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