Media Release 22 June 2009: Majura Parkway Realignment EIS

NCCC Media Release 22 June 2009

The Chair of the North Canberra Community Council (NCCC), Jochen Zeil, has called for more information on the proposed Majura Parkway Realignment and a public information meeting on the new road.

Mr Zeil stated, “The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) makes it clear that the real reason for the unnecessarily expensive and environmentally damaging major realignment of the Parkway is to enable a future Very High Speed Train (VHST) to connect to Canberra Airport. This would support the Airport’s plan to become Sydney’s second airport and a night freight hub.

The community, including NCCC, has consistently argued that these Airport business plans will destroy the unique assets of Canberra as a liveable city.

It would be better and cheaper to keep to the ACT Government’s original plan and upgrade the existing Majura Road route to Parkway standard,” Mr Zeil continued.

Mr Zeil noted, “The EIS states that upgrading the current route instead of realigning it would have: ‘the least impact on existing developments…, does not have significant ecological, cultural heritage or land management impacts and would …[reduce] the need for large amounts of capital outlay over a short period of time.’” [EIS Appendix M, p.3]

Mr Zeil called for a detailed and transparent triple bottom line analysis of a VHST corridor in the Majura Valley, including any proposed linkages with a freight hub for Canberra Airport.

Mr Zeil also described the EIS documentation as inadequate. “The EIS does not compare alternative options with the proposed realignment, but instead refers to previous studies that are not publicly available and that NCCC has been unable to access. ACT Roads, the proponent of the Majura Parkway proposal, has not held a single public information meeting on this major road project,” said Mr Zeil.

Mr Zeil concluded, “If the proposed VHST corridor serving an Airport terminal is the key criterion for the expensive Majura Parkway realignment, then there needs to be full and frank public discussion about such a proposal.

Contact:
Jochen Zeil, Chair, North Canberra Community Council

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6 Comments
  1. As a resident of Gungahlin (Forde) and an individual that uses Majura Road each day to get to work, I applaud the position the Council is taking in accepting that an upgrade of the road is inevitable. The upgrade is urgently needed but should be done with the least environmental impact and minimising costs to the taxpayer. Congratulations on your stance and your small win in getting the EIS extended to allow for proper public consultation.

  2. ACT Greens (Monday, June 22nd, 2009)
    MEDIA RELEASE | Win for the community as Majura Parkway EIS extended


    The ACT Greens have welcomed the Chief Minister’s announcement that the Majura Parkway EIS consultation period will be extended after his initial refusal. This will enable the community to give considered responses to a major project.

    “The Greens used question time last week to ask the Chief Minister to extend the consultation period and hold public information sessions but received no commitment to do so. Today the Chief Minister indicated that the period could indeed be extended, and we welcome the announcement.” ACT Greens Spokesperson for Planning, Caroline Le Couteur MLA said today.

    “This is an important project, and a very large one. It’s essential to get it right, and this is the only time the public has to comment on the issues in the EIS.”

    “The situation was that there were only 20 days given, and the appendices were so large that they were not able to go up on the ACTPLA website until last Tuesday.”

    “We are also calling on the Government, as the proponent of the project, to hold some community information sessions on the EIS.”

    Shane Rattenbury MLA, Greens spokesperson for Sport and Tourism, said he was also concerned that the current alignment of the road will destroy a key part of the world-class Majura Pines mountain biking zone.

    “Majura Pines has been around for twenty years. It is enormously popular with local riders, it hosts national and international events, and it’s also a major site for walkers, runners and horse-riders,” Mr Rattenbury said.

    “These groups now have an opportunity to lodge their concerns and suggest improvements to the project.”

  3. ABC News (Monday, 22 June 2009)
    ACT News | Majura Parkway consultation extended


    The ACT Greens have welcomed the Government’s decision to extend the public consultation period for the proposed Majura Parkway development.

    The Government granted the extension after the North Canberra Community Council said it was concerned about the four-lane highway and called for a public information meeting.

    Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury says there was no need to rush the process especially because there are serious problems with the proposed route.

  4. Mr Zeil

    I take extreme exception to your stance on this road. I am a resident of Harrison (in the northern part of Canberra) and I work in Hume (for the private sector). I refuse to use Majura Lane to get to work and drive through the back streets of Hackett and Dickson. Majura Lane is a dangerous road which has been pushed way beyond it’s capacity. It is only a matter of time before there is a fatality on it. The proposed road will deliver many safety benefits.

    Don’t get fooled by the HST waffle in the EIS. The HST will never be economically viable, unless the most gullible government of all time decided to throw money at it.

    You describe this project as “unnecessarily expensive and environmentally damaging”. I’m frankly deeply offended that you, who purport to represent people in northern Canberra, would take this stance.

  5. ACT Greens (Friday, June 19th, 2009)
    MEDIA RELEASE | Public needs time on Majura Parkway


    The ACT Greens have joined with the North Canberra Community Council and other community groups to call on the Government to extend the submission period for the Majura Parkway Environmental Impact Statement.

    “This is an important project, and a very large one. It’s essential to get it right, and this is the only time the public has to comment on the issues in the EIS.” said Greens spokesperson for Roads, Caroline Le Couteur MLA.

    “The EIS consultation period could easily be extended by a few weeks without affecting the overall timing of the project, given it does not yet have guaranteed funding to be completed.”

    “We shouldn’t shut the door on community engagement and scrutiny so quickly.”

    “We are also calling on the Government, as the proponent of the project, to hold some community information sessions on the EIS.”

    Shane Rattenbury MLA, Greens spokesperson for Sport and Tourism, said he was also concerned that the current alignment of the road will destroy a key part of the world-class Majura Pines mountain biking zone.

    “Majura Pines has been around for twenty years. It is enormously popular with local riders, it hosts national and international events, and it’s also a major site for walkers, runners and horse-riders.” Mr Rattenbury said.

    The Greens used question time this week to ask the Chief Minister to extend the consultation period and hold public information sessions but received no commitment to do so.

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