This is the last piece of a big puzzle... lets get it right.
Just to the north of Docklands, and less than a kilometre from the edge of Melbourne's CBD is E-Gate, a 20-hectare parcel of state-owned land. Until a couple of years ago the site was planned as Melbourne's next major development with plans the site would be home to over 10,000-residents and another 50,000 square metres of commercial space. The only problem was, the original plan was rather introspective.
Western Connection is a West Melbourne based community group established in 2013 to encourage better outcomes from the E-Gate development. We support the development of the E-Gate site, but we also see a lot of opportunity to resolve some of the big issues affecting the inner west including the economic and social isolation of Docklands, a lack of direct access between West Melbourne and Docklands, problems with noise and air pollution from nearby diesel trains, trouble with traffic and parking, and the significant lack of parkland in the area.
Western Connection proposed making parkland central to the E-Gate development. This green-space would not only be easy for E-Gate residents and workers to access but it would also be central to Docklands and West Melbourne residents.
Another key idea was to let the park span between North Melbourne Train Station, across to the foot of the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. This green walkway would not only make it easier for residents and workers in the north of Docklands to access North Melbourne Train Station, but it would also provide easier access for tourists to visit the waterfront precincts from the northern end of Melbourne's CBD.
The development of E-Gate has since been put on hold while Transurban works on its plans for the Western Distributor. The Western Distributor is a public private partnership (PPP) with the Victorian State Government and its initial raison d'être was to remove trucks from the residential streets in the inner west. With the release of the Western Distributor Reference Document it has become apparent Transurban also want to bring traffic directly into Melbourne's CBD, and to do this Transurban wants to put two new roadways directly across the E-Gate site.
Western Connection supports the Western Distributors aim of removing trucks from the streets of Yarraville, Seddon and Footscray. What we do not support is bringing more traffic directly into Melbourne's CBD. The traffic engineers working on the Western Distributor already acknowledge that traffic in Melbourne's CBD is nearing capacity... which raises the question, should we really be building more roads into Melbourne's CBD? And can we be doing more with the E-Gate site to benefit everybody in Melbourne, be it the commuters who take a train into work everyday rather than a car, or the many business owners and residents in Docklands who have endured economic and social isolation ever since Docklands was initially opened for business?
Welcome to the discussion.
As with E-gate, Western Connection supports the basic premisses of the Western Distributor project to remove trucks from Yarraville streets, but we also believe it is possible to create better outcomes that can benefit everyone in the city and the greater Melbourne area.
Enjoy looking through this website and if you believe that community objectives can be included into corporate ambitions, join in the discussion. You can also like our Facebook page too! Thank you.
Docklands and West Melbourne are neighbouring suburbs, and they could be important to each on multiple levels, but they are divided by one of Melbourne's busiest roads and rail corridors...
Anyone can compile a list of problems; the challenge for most people though, is finding solutions that can resolve the problems and create better outcomes for all stakeholders...
The Western Connection idea began evolving in 2013. Since then the proposal has been discussed and critiqued by a range of people, from residents to professionals. Here are some of the thoughts...