Benjamin Millar, 8 October 2015

A fierce backlash against a proposed six-lane truck flyover through Yarraville parkland could force Transurban back to the drawing board as fuel terminal operators call for further consultation on the plan.

The Maribyrnong Truck Action Group (MTAG) has joined Friends of Stony Creek and Concerned Locals of Yarraville in criticising design changes to Transurban’s $5.5 billion Western Distributor.

The changes would relocate the tunnel portal from Williamstown Road to land near homes and the Hyde Park Reserve, carving a swathe through a rare slice of green space.

MTAG met Transurban representatives last week to discuss the proposal but emerged unsatisfied the plan would effectively get trucks off inner-west roads.

While supporting exploration of a new route for trucks carrying dangerous loads, MTAG remains concerned about impacts on open space and unresolved issues surrounding tunnel filtration and truck bans.

Transurban argues the new road link with Hyde Street could help take about 1000 dangerous goods trucks such as fuel tankers away from residential streets such as Francis Street and Williamstown Road.

Transurban spokeswoman Bridget Brady said the toll road operator had met the Victorian Transport Association and National Bulk Tankers Association, representing the dangerous and hazardous goods transport sector.

“We also had meetings with the Wharf Carriers Group and members of the Container Transport Alliance Australia and a number of local businesses in the port precinct,” she said.

Mobil not consulted

But Mobil spokeswoman Melanie Saliba said the company, whose Yarraville terminal is accessed by about 250 tankers each day, hadn’t been consulted.

“Mobil has not yet been contacted by Transurban for feedback and we look forward to discussing the latest Western Distributor proposal with them in the near future,” she said.

Viva Energy spokeswoman Jo Powell said the company wasn’t contacted by Transurban and was reviewing the plans to assess impacts on its Newport terminal in Burleigh Street.

Caltex spokesman Sam Collyer said Transurban had yet to discuss the proposal with the company, which handles up to 250 fuel truck movements a day at its Newport terminal in Douglas Parade.

Ms Brady said further community feedback would assist in developing the design before decisions were made.

Information sessions will be held from 4-8pm on Thursday, October 8, at South Kingsville Community Centre and from 9.30am-1pm on Saturday, October 10, at the Yarraville Club.

Extracted in full from the Star Weekly.