For Background on the Kensington-related issues and our Campaign to ensure the ongoing amenity of our suburb in regard to Metro Rail, read this: KA Metrorail Update 6.10.18
The Kensington Association working party has now had more than 13 meetings with one or more key agencies and some progress has been made but major areas of disagreement are also apparent. We will be reporting on the very latest at the next General Meeting on Tuesday 9th October. Where are at now is, in summary, as follows (but download the document above for the full story).
On a positive note –
- A decent dialogue with the constructors has developed.
- Requests for information on traffic and noise impacts and site management arrangement are being processed (albeit sometimes pretty slowly).
- We have made good progress on the traffic front having almost agreed Traffic Management arrangements for when Childers Street is closed (often over the next four years).
- Agreed arrangements to ensure safe access to South Kensington Station during works.
- After much negotiation, CYP has now agreed to pay for dilapidation studies houses near the station. These studies provide the basis for compensation (and legal action) if houses are damaged by construction works
- We have a greater level of comfort as to how site management will occur.
On the not-so-good progress front –
- If site and hazard management is as good as constructors promise, why won’t they agree to a comprehensive regime of sound, vibration and air quality monitoring and real time public reporting? At the most recent meeting they refused to provide monitoring results, in real time, to the public. Instead they offered results from monthly data reviews.
- We still are waiting for the results of soil and ground water toxicity testing. This is important because we will contaminated soil dug up and hauled across the suburb. At the last negotiations (on 4 October) were were given 2 two cut and pasted pages extracted from the 140 page report! We requested at least the executive summary to be provided quickly.
- The criteria for relocation of residents effected by construction remains deplorable.
- We do not have agreement on an integrated design approach for the works.
It should be stressed that while we do not have agreement on the above issues, negotiations are continuing, there is good will and there are a range of factors that add to the complexity of the process.
We should also take this opportunity to extend an apology to Rail Projects Victoria, CYP and the Rail Infrastructure Alliance. In a recent notice we stated that “little or no consideration has been given to how construction by-products like noise, dust and vibration are controlled and how to ensure that the end result is something that we can live with….” This was incorrect; the project partners have given a lot of consideration to the issues. However, we do disagree strongly with a number of the conclusions they have reached.
While this project will extend over more than four years, what we are fighting for now will shape the impact that the works have on our community and the legacy that is left. If negotiations fail, we will need to ramp up the fight. We did this with the former East-West tunnel proposal that would have devastated Holland Park, and we can succeed again, as a community.
As a local concerned for the suburb you will want to:
- Keep informed and on notice for community-based actions, if negotiations are not successful.
- Join the Kensington Association (there is strength in numbers) and
- Contribute to the Kensington Community Fund to build up our fighting fund reserves (more on that soon).