NOTICE OF MOTION | PLANNING SCHEME AMENDMENT GC65

Mr MELHEM (Western Metropolitan) — I am pleased to stand here and speak on the motion. I listened to Mr Davis. He spoke for 30-odd minutes but he did not actually talk much about the actual resolution itself.

Mr Finn — How long are you going to talk for then?

Mr MELHEM — I am going to talk for 60 minutes, Mr Finn. Mr Davis did not talk much about the motion at all. I thought the motion was in relation to the —

Mr Finn interjected.

The ACTING PRESIDENT (Mr Elasmar) — Are you finished, Mr Finn?

Mr MELHEM — Thank you, Acting President. The motion talks about the planning scheme amendment and the Planning and Environment Act 1987, it talks about tolls and it talks about other matters which are subject to different processes altogether. Mr Davis hardly touched on the actual motion. He spent 90 per cent of his time talking about other matters which do not relate to what he is asking. He spoke this morning on the motion about the tabling of planning scheme amendment GC65, which was tabled and has actually been on the public record since 7 December 2017 — I am not sure what the logic was behind seeking the tabling of that particular document when it is in the public arena — and then he went on to talk about this house, this Parliament, the role of this house and so forth.

I just want to quote something his beloved leader, the Honourable Matthew Guy, said in this place in 2010. Recently we have been sort of bombarded with various motions to revoke various planning schemes and so forth. Since Mr Davis became the shadow Minister for Planning he has decided to turn this house to his own portfolio and just revoke everything and disagree with everything. There is a long list, including the revocation relating to the Ormond development. However, the current opposition leader, in this place in April 2010, spoke on a Greens motion to revoke an amendment to the Williamstown planning scheme. The now Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly said, and I quote:

We have clearly stated that we do not want to turn the upper house of Victoria into a responsible authority on every planning matter around the state. If we choose one, then we choose every one of them to deal ourselves in on.

That is the end of the quote. That is the Leader of the Opposition. That is Mr Davis’s leader. I agree with Mr Guy in the quote. I think we need to know our place. There is a separation of powers between the executive government and the Parliament. The executive is charged with running the state, making decisions, planning, delivering infrastructure projects et cetera. That is not the role of the Parliament. That is where Mr Guy was coming from. But obviously Mr Davis decided, ‘No, I don’t agree with my leader, so therefore I am going to move all of these motions’.

Mr Gepp interjected.

Mr MELHEM — I will come back to that, Mr Gepp, because in the previous Parliament the former government, the opposition today, always had this argument and had a go at the Greens every time they tried to move a similar motion. They had their day moving a motion like this, and now they have gone to bed with them because that is their agenda.

That was history, 2010, nearly eight years ago. But not long ago, on 20 November 2017, there was another quote from the opposition leader, the Honourable Matthew Guy:

What Melbourne needs to do is take the politics out of our infrastructure delivery. I mean, there’s no more arguing. We need to start getting on with some of these plans to free up traffic congestion.

Mr Gepp — Who said that?

Mr MELHEM — The Honourable Matthew Guy.

Mr Gepp — When?

Mr MELHEM — 20 November 2017.

Mr Gepp — Three months ago.

Mr MELHEM — Yes. This lot here are in disarray. Their leader will say one thing but we have the shadow planning minister — he wants to be a minister again, but good luck — doing quite the opposite. His leader stated it publicly back in 2010 and again in November 2017. I do not think these guys know what they are doing. I do not think the left hand knows what the right hand is doing. They are quite confused. They were in government for four years; they did not really do much for four years. They then woke up about three-quarters of the way through and said, ‘We will pick up the
east–west project coming out of the Eddington report’, which Mr Davis referred to earlier. He referred to the Eddington report from when he did his transport plan in the late 2000s.

They decided they want to pick the east–west link but I think they got it the other way around. If you go back and read carefully what Sir Rod Eddington actually said in his report, from memory I think the western section was supposed to be first, not second. That did not go ahead because Victorians voted that they did not want this project.

Since we got in in 2014 we have been doing so much, so many projects around the state —

Mr Ondarchie — Media releases. That’s all you do.

Mr MELHEM — Media releases? I must be on a different planet, Mr Ondarchie. Let me name them for you. How many level crossings have we delivered so far?

Mr Ondarchie interjected.

Mr MELHEM — It was your project?

Mr Ondarchie — You are delusional.

Mr MELHEM — Fifty level crossings was part of our plan.

How many did you have? You did not have one.

Mr Ondarchie interjected.

Mr MELHEM — How many? You are telling me. You are telling the story. How many — one, two? Did you deliver two?

Mr Ondarchie interjected.

Mr MELHEM — Come on, you are telling the story. You did not deliver much, let me tell you. You did not deliver much. Going back to the things you were supposed to deliver, going back to my electorate, because we are talking about the west and talking about my electorate, you were supposed to deliver on a station which was funded by the Brumby government — the Caroline Springs train station. When you got into government the first thing you did was cancel it. It has been delivered. We have delivered it now, and it is working really well and people are enjoying using that train station. They use it to come to the city. That is great. What else did you deliver? Regional rail? We did that; you did not deliver that — I mean, seriously.

Mr Davis went on to talk about it being a bad project and it being a bad process, and he talked about the toll extension. He forgot to mention that with the toll extension — and you might not like the contract — there are two ways that project can be delivered. It can be delivered by the current arrangement the government is talking about: extending the toll. Fair enough. If you want to have a debate about that, that is fair enough. I think it is a good debate to have. The alternative is: do not extend the toll, it comes out of general revenue and basically all taxpayers pay for it. They are the two options available. We do not have to decide today about which option. We would like to, but if that is going to be a problem, if it is too difficult and we need a bit of time to talk about that, we have got until 2022 if we want to proceed and put in legislation to change the toll legislation to allow the extension of the CityLink toll for another 10 years. It is not due until —

Mr Ondarchie interjected.

Mr MELHEM — Mr Ondarchie, I am relaxed with either option. And guess what? I live in the western suburbs. My office is less than a kilometre from where the sod was turned last week. It is only about a kilometre from where the project is about to commence and construction is about to start. It is about a kilometre. I work on Hyde Street. It is going to happen where I work, and I live in the western suburbs and I talk to people in the western suburbs.

An honourable member — Do you?

Mr MELHEM — I talk to the people in the western suburbs, and they tell me they cannot wait. They cannot wait. They cannot wait for that project to actually be completed. Mr Davis talked about — and Mr Finn interjected a number of times about — the east–west link. Look, I make no apology; I am a selfish person and I like my constituents and I like the western suburbs, and I want to put them first before any other suburbs because that is where they live and they are who I report to. If we want to get the West Gate tunnel built before the eastern section, so be it. I am not going to be apologetic. I think it is good. That is exactly what we are doing.

Under the east–west I think the line goes 20-30 or 20-40 maybe. That is with the West Gate distributor or the West Gate tunnel — whatever you want to call it. The western section of the east–west was not even there. You could not see the line. Let me go through the lines about the project start and completion dates. There are some lines about the eastern section.

Mr Ondarchie — You supported it!

Mr MELHEM — Yes, I did — and the western section is in the never-never.

An honourable member — The never-never?

Mr MELHEM — Yes, the never-never.

Honourable members interjecting.

Mr MELHEM — So I say, when Mr Finn keeps interjecting: mate, it is time for you to stand up for the western suburbs. You are the parliamentary secretary for the western suburbs.

Mr Finn interjected.

Mr MELHEM — Stop arguing about wanting to do a little project for other suburbs. Mate, really, get over it and just accept it. Get over it and accept that the West Gate tunnel is a required project. Let me tell you: if you cannot get over it, we will build a bridge for you to get over it, and we will throw in a tunnel for you. Just get over it and stand up for the western suburbs.

Mr Ondarchie — You support the tolling, do you?

Mr MELHEM — I have already answered the question. I am comfortable with either option. The first option — extend the toll — to answer your question, yes, if that is the way we are going to build it. It is no different to when you proposed the east–west. That was going to be tolled, wasn’t it?

An honourable member interjected.

Mr MELHEM — Right. If that is not possible, and you are going to continue opposing the proposition with the current arrangement about extending the toll, then the other option is it just has to be paid by general revenue, and that is fine too. But the thing is we have got four years to make a final decision on that. We have got four years to actually deal with the funding thing. The other thing is, you have to distinguish between Transurban as a stakeholder and the state government. The project is not being constructed by Transurban. The project is being constructed by a different entity, totally separate from Transurban. That is John Holland and another company consortium. It has nothing to do with Transurban. They are the constructors. The cheque will be paid by the state government and Transurban. That is the funding model. The funding model is done by Transurban and the state government, and then it will be repaid by the toll. But the people who are constructing the project are not Transurban. But I suppose the truth does not really matter in this place with some people.

I will talk about the benefits with this project.

Mr Gepp — How many jobs, Mr Melhem? Tell us about the jobs.

Mr MELHEM — I will come back to the jobs.

Honourable members interjecting.

Mr MELHEM — I cannot tell you. Jobs — there are going to be plenty of jobs.

Mr Ondarchie — Starting when?

Mr MELHEM — Starting when? Starting already, Mr Ondarchie. There are workers already on the project. I was there. Construction has started. There are going to be over 6000 people employed on the job, and 10 per cent of the 6000 will be trainees and apprentices. As a matter of fact we are going to set some new records or a new model, which has not happened in this country before, where we are going to establish a tunnel academy where people will be trained to be tunnellers. Let me tell you a bit about tunnelling, because I know a fair bit about tunnelling, Mr Ondarchie. I actually represented tunnellers. Let me tell you, I know how tunnels are built — unlike you; you would not have a clue how a tunnel is built and what is required as far as skills and technology. You do not, but I do. There is a group of specialised tunnellers in this country — there are only a few hundred of them — and they do travel around the countryside whenever tunnelling is done. So you cannot just pick a tunneller and train the tunneller overnight; they are very specialised skills. The good thing about this project and one of the positive outcomes of this project — because we are going to have two big tunnels, as we know, the Metro Tunnel and the West Gate tunnel — is that we need to have some specialised tunnellers to be trained up, because it is going to be a long project. If we include the Metro Tunnel, at least for the next 10 years we are going to have tunnelling work taking place in Melbourne. Then if we add the —

An honourable member interjected.

Mr MELHEM — North link — I forgot about that. That is another tunnel. We need experienced tunnellers, and instead of importing these tunnellers from overseas and instead of getting tunnellers in from other states, we are going to train our own. So we are establishing a tunnelling academy so we can train Victorians, young Victorians, to become tunnellers. When they become qualified tunnellers and they work on these tunnel jobs, they will be able to provide their services to other tunnelling projects around the country and around the world. Of course they do travel. They are very mobile people. They actually travel. When there is a tunnel to be built, the advertising for jobs for these tunnel operators is a worldwide exercise. That is one of the great benefits of this project — jobs and giving opportunity to our kids, and a lot of them will be from my electorate.

They will be given the opportunity to train up and acquire new skills.

We talk about local content. Where do you want me to start? Ninety per cent of the product that is going to be used is local content, whether it is cement or steel. Let us talk about steel. Two big companies in my electorate in the western suburbs, OneSteel in Sunshine and Arrium in Laverton, are going to be rapt because we mandated that the project has got to use Victorian-made steel. Even companies such as Keppel Prince, as far away as Portland, are going to be doing some of the structural work. They will be benefiting from this project.

This project is about nation-building. It is about addressing the traffic congestion issue we have by providing a second crossing. When this project is finished it will give the western suburbs the West Gate Bridge as access to the city and the south-eastern suburbs. We will have the West Gate tunnel, another access point to the eastern suburbs and the city. We will have Ballarat Road. We will have the Tullamarine Freeway. We will have so many options for Western Metropolitan Region and for Geelong. People forget about Geelong. We want to grow our population in regional Victoria, and that is a great effort. It is important to make sure we have got the right infrastructure in place. By our widening the West Gate Freeway to eight lanes each way and providing two ways to access it, you will be able to choose either the bridge or the tunnel. How wonderful is that. But those opposite say, ‘No, why should we do that?’.

We want to grow our cities. The people of Ballarat also will have dual access. They can take the West Gate Bridge to the M80 or they can take the Tullamarine Freeway, works on which were just completed to provide six lanes each way. They can have options. Hopefully in a few years time they will have a third option. They will be able to continue on the M80 when the north section is completed and joined with the Eastern Freeway and CityLink.

That is what the Andrews Labor government is actually doing. We are not talking about it; we are actually doing it. Your lot sat there for four years and did zip — nothing. What you have been doing in the last 12 months is simply moving revocation motions, whether it is on sky rail, the Melbourne Metro, Ormond railway station, the Markham estate, the Kananook rail stabling facility and so forth. Our friends from the Greens moved a similar motion about the Greyhound Hotel proposal and so forth. That is what has been occupying the other side. Every Wednesday in opposition business they move a motion to revoke something the government is doing, which is basically delivering infrastructure projects for Victorians, which we need desperately. Instead of saying, ‘We’re going to support this project’, or even better, coming in here and saying, ‘We’re going to do better than you. These projects are not enough. We’re going to do more’, they say, ‘No, we don’t like to do anything’. That is basically their motto.

Let me talk about what other people have said about this project. The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) put a press release out saying, ‘West Gate tunnel must proceed for the good of all Victorians’.

Mr Gepp — Who said that?

Mr MELHEM — The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. They are not normally pro-Labor people. They represent industry and small businesses in Victoria. They are not representatives of big business; they actually represent small business.

In this Parliament I have heard a fair bit from the other side trying to champion the cause of small business during question time, and what they are doing here today is quite the opposite. They are basically doing everything in their power to make sure small businesses do not benefit from this big infrastructure project, adding more costs and burdens on their operations, because a project like this will make travel so easy and save them a lot of time in basically moving from point A to point B, delivering their goods, going out there and servicing their customers. That is what this project will do.

Talking about VCCI, which represents the industry, I will read the press release into the transcript:

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry calls for all parties to support the West Gate tunnel project proceeding without amendment or delay.

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Mark Stone, AM, said suggestions the project might be delayed or its funding altered would be disastrous for the state’s economy, and the convenience and livability for so many living in the state’s west.

Mark Stone, I think, is a very experienced person who has been around for a long period of time representing industry. He is a Member of the Order of Australia, so he is a very eminent person. He came out and made these comments. I tell you what, it is a bit gutsy for a CEO of an employer organisation to come out and attack a political party like the Liberal and National parties. It is quite risky. But obviously he must feel really passionate about the issue and somewhat disgusted about the game being played here. I will continue to quote from his press release:

‘This project will deliver a much-needed second river crossing, cut travel times, reduce congestion and boost livability in Melbourne’s west and Geelong’, he said.

Now here is the punchline:

‘It is disappointing that the Liberal-Nationals coalition and the Greens have teamed up to try to block the project’.

That is what I said earlier. It is quite a risk for a person like him in his position to make these comments, because he will have to deal with both sides of government. This lot that he referred to may one day come back and form government. It might be a long, long time away, but it is a possibility.

But his making that comment, to me, proves how frustrated the business community is with the Liberal-National parties in relation to that stand. The press release continues:

The government was elected with a mandate to deliver important projects like this one. Contracts have been signed, work has started and the project should proceed.’

Melbourne needs a second river crossing. The West Gate tunnel project provides that crossing, with benefits for western suburban commuters, freight and export industry.

Importantly the project will create 6000 new jobs, including 500 jobs for people entering the workforce, and up to 150 jobs for former auto workers.

Actually that is another area I want to cover. The automotive industry, as we know, came to an end last year. It was another fantastic decision that was actually made by the coalition government in Canberra, with Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott and carried through with the current Prime Minister, about making sure they saw the end of the automotive industry. As a result, in my electorate we have lost over 5000 jobs, of which 3000 were in Altona when Toyota shut its doors last year. Some 150 of these workers are guaranteed a start on this project. I think the Andrews Labor government should be commended on making sure we deliver jobs for these workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own but simply through a bad policy of the Liberal-National parties in Canberra.

I also want to remove trucks from roads in inner-western suburbs and improve environmental and health and safety outcomes for residents. That is something I want to spend a bit of time talking about. One of the biggest issues we have in the west — particularly in the inner west where my office is in Yarraville, around Yarraville, Footscray and Braybrook, but particularly Yarraville — is trucks. Unfortunately, for these trucks to access the port at the moment there is no other way of them getting in other than coming through Somerville Road, coming into Francis Street through High Street and Whitehall Street. To access the port they are coming from the western suburbs or Geelong. There is a lot of warehousing activity. Due to a lot of big warehouses being established in the western suburbs of Melbourne in the last 20 years, there is a lot of pressure on infrastructure to cope with the additional numbers of trucks that have to travel through that area to access the port.

You can add to that trucks coming from north-east Victoria, from regional Victoria coming through the M80, coming through the West Gate in order to access the port. We have tried to make some quick fixes over the last 10 years to get these trucks off the roads. My friend who sits on my right, Ms Hartland — she is not here — has been campaigning heavily in recent years to make sure these trucks are taken off the roads because they are causing some health and safety issues for the people who live in the area.

Mr Finn interjected.

Mr MELHEM — Let me expand on that a bit. If you look at Yarraville, going back 20 or 30 years ago there were a lot of industrial places there. It is not quite the same as that today. If you turn the clock back 20 or 30 years and then look at today, it is a completely different landscape. It has been replaced by houses — some high density, some low density — and the number of people living in that vicinity is a large number. These people have to put up with the pollution created by these trucks going in and out, and I do not think anyone or any of us, particularly young ones and the elderly, should put up with the diesel fumes and all this pollution generated by these trucks.

Second, people are getting run over. Trucks are driving through streets near schools and those streets are hazardous places to be. Over the last few years we have banned trucks from entering roads during certain times. On some streets permanent bans are in place to prevent trucks from entering. That is a quick fix, a primary fix, but we need to look at a long-term fix, which is to take the pressure off the West Gate Bridge and have another entry to the port. Instead of trucks using residential streets, they will be able to use the West Gate tunnel.

That is why I have been amazed and surprised that the Greens are opposing the project. I hope they will reconsider their position and support the project for that reason only. They have been campaigning heavily on the pollution issues, on banning trucks from residential areas, and the answer to fixing that problem is to get these trucks off our residential streets. Without that, we will continue to have trucks roaming our streets and causing the pollution I talked about.

The other thing is why a tunnel versus an open road or maybe a flyover. Like Mr Davis calls the elevated rail a sky rail, we can call these sky roads. We thought that having a tunnel would be very environmentally friendly. Williamstown Road will have a tunnel coming one way, and then further out toward the west will be the second portal. All of that will be underground. The tunnel will have all these stacks and we will have a filtering system to make sure the noise and pollution is kept to an absolute minimum. There are some really serious environmental benefits to go with the proposal we have been through.

Mr Davis said there was not much consultation, but let me tell you that we have consulted widely. We have talked to people. This was not dreamt up at the last minute. This has been in the planning for a long period of time, and a fair number of consultation processes have been put in place to consult everyone.

Mr Finn interjected.

Mr MELHEM — Maybe they have not consulted with you, Mr Finn, because you probably did not show any interest. Thousands and thousands of documents and studies have been put in place, because it is very important to make sure that projects like this tick all the boxes in relation to environmental sustainability and the health, safety and wellbeing of people. That is why the process was very thorough.

The planning minister, Mr Wynne, is probably one of the better planning ministers we have had for a long period of time.

Mr Finn — Yes. Just ask in Caroline Springs and Deer Park what they think of him.

Mr MELHEM — I don’t think you care about that. You don’t care about that, Mr Finn. You’re just talk, mate. You’re just talk.

Mr Finn interjected.

Mr MELHEM — Okay. We will watch this space about what we do. We are actually doing something about it. You will not. I remember when you did not turn up to a meeting in Caroline Springs before the 2014 election to state your party’s position regarding the Ravenhall tip. You did not have the balls to turn up. You sent someone to represent you because the position was the Liberal Party — —

The ACTING PRESIDENT (Mr Elasmar) — Order! Back to the motion, Mr Melhem. Thank you.

Mr MELHEM — The Liberal Party will support the continuation of Ravenhall tip. That was the position then; that is the position today, but I have pledged. You watch that space.

Mr Finn interjected.

Mr MELHEM — You watch that space. You can read my report next week.

Mr Finn interjected.

The ACTING PRESIDENT (Mr Elasmar) — Order! Mr Finn, I have just asked Mr Melhem to come back to the motion. Without interjection, he might go further, thank you. No interjections. Mr Melhem to continue.

Mr MELHEM — Going back to the project, an excellent point, let us talk about the design of the project and come back to the environmental statement in a minute.

The project will feature over 14 kilometres of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths. No-one talked about that, and I am now talking to my friends from the Greens. And there will be a new 2.5-kilometre veloway for cyclists and we will complete the missing link in the Federation Trail.

As part of that project there will be 14 kilometres of new lanes for cycling, which I think that is a great thing to have in any project. I think we need to encourage people to cycle and encourage people to use public transport. This is not just about building roads. We are building lanes for cyclists to be able to cycle to work or wherever they are going, and we are making sure we build public transport. Basically it is a three-way approach.

Industrial and other unused land in the inner-west will be transformed by the project, and there will be almost 9 hectares of new green spaces and wetlands — yet the Greens want to oppose this project. We are going to have more open spaces around that area where the project is going to take place.

I have talked about the trucks. It has been estimated that about 9000 trucks will be taken off the local roads. We also have a finish date as well: by 2022 this project will be completed. We will have a new 24-hour, 7-day ban on top of the current ban we have in place on the inner-west on Francis Street, Somerville Road, Buckley Street, Moore Street, Blackshaws Road and Hudson Road, and that will be enshrined in law.

Mr Finn — Did Millers Road get a mention there?

Mr MELHEM — Millers Road is right. There are no trucks on Millers Road, Mr Finn.

Mr Finn — There are not at the moment but there will be.

Mr MELHEM — With your effort, you are probably right. If we left it up to you I think that is exactly what would happen.

It will also save up to 20 minutes of travel time between the city and Melbourne’s west. We have not talked about crashes. It has been estimated that there will be about a 16 per cent reduction in the level of crashes on these roads, because we will have better roads, better signed roads, better entry and exit points and less confusion with people going left or right when they are exiting. Therefore there is less likelihood of people having to change lanes or race all over the place, and hopefully there will be less chance of people having crashes and so forth.

There will be 17 kilometres of new traffic lanes from Kororoit Creek Road to Wurundjeri Way. There will be a noise wall as part of the design to make sure that noise is not heavily impacting on the livelihood of residents in the area. It is very important when you are dealing with freeways to make sure we have got the proper noise walls in place so people can enjoy quieter homes and parks around the West Gate Freeway.

We are also go to plant more trees: 17 500 trees will be planted, Mr Finn. That is why I am surprised that my Greens friends are still opposing the project. There will be 110 000 tonnes of steel used, and that will be Australian-made steel.

I refer now to the environment effects statement (EES) process. I have attended a number of community consultation sessions to make sure that people were consulted about the project, that all the options have been explored and that the view of the community is taken into account, we hear their concerns and we address them. Five hundred and four submissions on the EES were received. During the exhibition period there were three public meetings and information nights explaining the EES documents, where local residents were able to speak to members of the project team and learn about the process.

Further to that, the EES hearings were chaired by a panel of independent experts who heard from all submitters. So all submitters who chose to attend — basically no-one was denied the right to be heard — were all heard, as were councils, residents, agencies, community groups and individuals. The hearings were held in Footscray between August and September 2017, and the committee report was tabled on 23 October 2017. These things happened before the project was signed, before the contract and before any of that stuff. So when Mr Davis talks about —

Mr Finn — Do you actually believe this?

Mr MELHEM — I do believe it, because I was there. When Mr Davis talks about there not having been any consultation, well, the facts speak for themselves.

As a result of that consultation, the Minister for Planning made a number of recommendations to improve the project, and the Minister for Roads and Road Safety accepted all these recommendations. So we have two separate ministers, one who is in charge of the environmental aspects of the project, and the other is in charge of delivering the project. To make sure there is no conflict of interest, they needed to make independent decisions in relation to their respective portfolios.

The recommendations were accepted by the roads minister, including the need for noise reduction measures along Millers Road in Brooklyn. It also included the voluntary acquisition of properties along Hyde Street, which were already affected by the public acquisition overlay. The reason for that was that some people had come to me and said, ‘Look, I understand the tunnel is not going through my property, but I may be affected down the track and I want to know if there is an opportunity for me to have my property acquired’. That is one of the concerns that was raised as part of the process, and that is where that recommendation from the planning minister came from. It came out of the consultation process, it was accepted and now Hyde Street residents have the option to sell their property or have their property acquired because it is subject to an overlay. That can now happen.

There will be a noise wall along existing and future public open spaces in the corridor as well. Some improvements on noise were sought as part of that process, and that was also accepted by the Minister for Planning. The redesign of the Mackenzie Road off-ramp along the Maribyrnong River to reduce visual bulk and improve the amenity of local areas is another recommendation by the planning minister, which the roads minister accepted.

An important issue was the lowering of the Wurundjeri Way extension to improve the amenity of this urban renewal area and improve access between North Melbourne station and Docklands. Again, that is a further improvement to the project that was accepted. Further traffic management work will be undertaken in north and west Melbourne and across the City of Melbourne to cater for the changing traffic patterns in these areas.

Business interrupted pursuant to standing orders.

7 February 2018