Media response – Suburban Rail Loop
Published on 20 October 2022
Query from the Australian Financial Review
I'm trying to understand the impact of Special Control Overlay 14 and especially Special Control Overlay 15 (SCO15), which covers a wider area.
Does Monash have a rough estimate of how much land and how many properties are covered by SCO15 in particular?
Also, I'd be interested to hear what is Monash's view on the transfer of planning authority to the Suburban Rail Loop Authority for those properties affected?
The Suburban Rail Loop will be a gamechanger for Monash’s connection to the rest of Melbourne, and this transformational project has the support of Council.
Planning Overlays like SCO14 and SCO15 are typical controls for a major infrastructure project. SCO14 directly facilitates construction of the loop infrastructure and rightly makes the Minister for Planning the Responsible Authority for administration and enforcement of the project. SCO15 makes the SRLA a determining referral authority for land along the loop corridor but leaves the planning process with Council. Based on the information available, we anticipate that approximately 1,000 (SCO14) and 2,000 (SCO15) properties are covered by each overlay.
Of more concern is the likely transfer of planning authority powers from Council to the Suburban Rail Loop Authority for precinct planning within a 1.6km radius around SRL stations. We’re seeking clarity on the likely extent of these precincts in Monash and how Council will be able to provide input.
Given the size of those proposed station precinct areas and the absence of clarity, we have serious concerns about the potential for negative impacts on our local neighbourhoods.
Local input on these decisions is crucial, particularly as the SRLA is primarily set up to deliver the rail loop itself. For example, the Glen Waverley community has clearly told us they’re supportive of the project but share Council’s design concerns of the current proposal, including on issues of carparking, road closures and better connecting the new and existing stations, such as at Glen Waverley, where benefits for the activity centre could be significant and well beyond what we believe is a very limited consideration.
The Suburban Rail Loop is a generational project that will transform our suburbs. We should build it, and build it right.
Issued: 20 October 2022
To: Australian Financial Review
Quoting: Mayor Stuart James