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.”
Jochen Zeil, Chair, North Canberra Community Council