Update: Phew! Read the 24th April Minutes here | CoY: Update on Rushall Reserve Shared path (Thursday 26 April 2018)

At its meeting on 24 April 2018, Council reaffirmed its commitment to build a shared path in Rushall Reserve, North Fitzroy.

Council first decided to proceed with the shared path in May 2016, following in-depth community consultation. Since then senior officers have been working on the planning and logistics for the project, including discussions with Metro Trains, who are responsible for the nearby train infrastructure. Some adjustments will be required to the train infrastructure (i.e. signal boxes) due to the narrow neck of land between the train line reservation and the escarpment to the Merri Creek where the path would need to traverse.

Due to the recent cost estimates of relocating Metro Trains’ infrastructure, the Council will now be seeking support from the State Government to progress the project.

Many of you may of recently received an email from City of Yarra (CoY) concerning proposed Rushall Reserve shared path, which you may of believed was another progress update leading on from September 2017:

Instead, the email directed people to read the CoY agenda for Tuesday 24 April 2018. When reading Item 11.2 (pages 11-18) of the 41 page agenda, the officers recommendations are to abandon the project due to increased costs and/or exposure to risk.

Read first document hosted here – Agenda for Council Meeting on 24 April 2018

What you can do next:

If you read the CoY Agenda for 24 April 2018, you’ll read passing the council budget (11.1) comes before Rushall Reserve (11.2), which may make it difficult for people to ask questions during the Public Question Time at this CoY meeting.

We ask thay you immediately contact Yarra Council with your concerns and questions about Rushall Reserve by email (info@yarracity.vic.gov.au), phone or request a meeting with your local councillor:

Mayor Cr Daniel Nguyen: 9205 5055 or 0427 493 509, e: Mayor{AT}yarracity.vic.gov.au
Cr Mike McEvoy: 9205 5055 or 0428 449 193, e: Mike.McEvoy{AT}yarracity.vic.gov.au
Cr Amanda Stone: 9205 5055 or 0429 358 170, e: Amanda.Stone{AT}yarracity.vic.gov.au.
Cr Misha Coleman: 9205 5055 or 0428 509 943, e: Misha.Coleman{AT}yarracity.vic.gov.au
Cr Danae Bosler: 9205 5055 or 0419 782 247, e: Danae.Bosler{AT}yarracity.vic.gov.au
Cr James Searle: 9205 5055 or 0427 121 310, e: James.Searle{AT}yarracity.vic.gov.au
Cr Mi-Lin Chen Yi Mei: 9205 5055 or 0427 150 407, e: Milin.Chenyimei{AT}yarracity.vic.gov.au
Cr Stephen Jolly: 9205 5055 or 0437 856 713, e: Stephen.Jolly{AT}yarracity.vic.gov.au
Cr Jackie Fristacky: 9205 5055, 0412 597 794, e: Jackie.Fristacky{AT}yarracity.vic.gov.au

Questions to City of Yarra:

1. Has City of Yarra researched for alternative funding? (State Government, Active Transport Victoria, other municipal councils)

2. Would the increased development activity in that particular section of North Fitzroy assist to awarding funding from future developer contributions to service that community growth and requirement for accessibility options?

3. Existing quotes for construction tripled in three years and then nearly doubled again in three months – why are Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) massively jacking up the costs?

4. Have other councils been notified of potential project cancellation as Merri Creek Trail is important to Moreland, Darebin and Melbourne,

5. Why is MTM/Victrack not picking up signalling costs as part of land access negotiation?

6. This project has previously been carried over in several budgets and should be done again, like most major infrastructure projects. (Bargoonga Nganjin North Fitzroy Library, Collingwood Town Hall refurbishments)

7. Rushall Reserve is a main component of Yarra Councils Bike Strategy Refresh – what contingencies has Director Planning and Place Making made for any alterations?

8. Project cancellation puts Yarra council processes and local councils in general into a bad light, as how can residents participate in any future consultations in good faith when prior council administration gutted local capital works budget (reference to 2016 when $22m was moved from developers contributions/open space)

9. Legal arguments about minimum path width can be applied to numerous existing legacy shared paths that were contructed prior to AustRoads specifications – many Victorian councils are already are exposed daily to this risk.

10. Cancelling a project with an already exhaustive consultation process suggests Yarra Council has no will to complete it in the future, lacks political will and shows disrespect for the huge contributions made by local residents during long consultation timelines, regardless whether they are for or against the project.

11. As the proposed plans projected costs now exceed $900K, should alternatives such as reconfiguring the Rushall Station underpass now be reconsidered? (refer to question 1)

Thank you and please forward this information to anyone you know who would be concerned or affected