[By Tony Dewberry] On Thursday, December 28, 45 people gathered in Brunswick to launch a community campaign against the East-West Link. The meeting was initiated by Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton, who was also one of the speakers. The other speakers were Nic Maclellan, from the Brunswick Residents Network, and Samantha Ratnam, Greens councillor on Moreland council.
All speakers addressed the huge cost of the project and how it would take away funding not just from other transport projects but from health and education. The general feeling from the speakers and the floor, was that the project will come at the cost of homes, communities and open space. It will rule out other, non-car based transport options like the Doncaster rail and an airport rail link.
The meeting decided unanimously to establish a local group to campaign against the East West project. Debate was lively on a proposed name for the new group. There was a strong argument that all the government’s descriptions of the project, such as a “link” or a “tunnel” hid the true destructive nature of the project and these words shouldn’t be used. But in the end the feeling was that the name had to be one that was easily understood by the public, so the meeting voted to call the new group Moreland Community against the Tunnel (MCAT).
Some campaign goals
The meeting adopted a number of ideas to get the campaign against East West started. It endorsed the proposed rally in Fitzroy against the project on December 15 (1pm, Smith Reserve on Alexandra Parade). It also voted to call for a citywide demonstration in the new year to bring together all the local groups working to stop the project. Working groups were set up and three spokespeople nominated for MCAT (Sue Bolton, the meeting chair Rikki Lane, and Michael Petit). MCAT is keen to work with Moreland Council, which has taken an official stand against East West and set up a council funded committee. As well as producing its own material MCAT will help distribute any council material produced to stop the East West project.
To get in touch or go on the mailing list, email Michael Petit or call 0417 354 169.