Western Highway cheaper, safer, sooner: Go Northern!

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Stop VicRoads from wasting taxpayer dollars and destroying our natural environment. We want VicRoads southern ‘Option 1’ checked against new information. A cheaper, less destructive route, the Northern Option has been overlooked. 
Richard Wynne and Luke Donnellan, we want accountability. How can this be in the public interest?

About this Campaign

VicRoads is planning to widen 12km of the Western Highway near Ararat, including a 5.7km deviation from the highway through hilly landscape. New data shows that using the existing route is much less destructive.

VicRoads claim their procedures have been proper and thorough. We have contested this in court. The KORS case against the 2013 ‘Minister’s Assessment’ is pending in the Supreme Court. We cannot let them continue this expensive and destructive development while they continue to rely on a discredited Environmental Effects Statement. The consequence of continuing would be as major as the destruction of thousands of trees, many between 500 and 700 years old, in earlier stages of the project.

Say NO to unnecessary destruction of our Country. Our local, centuries-old trees and precious wildlife are at risk of being uprooted and decimated by this construction. Possible Aboriginal heritage trees are also at risk of being destroyed forever. Applications to register these heritage trees have been lodged with Aboriginal Affairs Victoria.

In comparison to the southern Option 1, the Northern Option has numerous benefits:

  • Saves taxpayers a whopping $24-65 million dollars!
  • Is a shorter, flatter route for drivers with less fog risk
  • Is much faster to construct by avoiding 500,000m3 of earthworks
  • Makes use of the existing infrastructure and carefully adds a parallel carriageway
  • Avoids the construction of an extra bridge over a quiet side road in the path of the deviation
  • Avoids large underground boulders and seepage areas
  • Follows road-ecology's first rule to ‘avoid the fresh cut’ of the landscape
  • Damages less roadside vegetation by up to 50% 
  • Protects endangered habitats and landscapes
  • Has 75% less loss of large old trees; saves Victoria’s second largest Yellow Gum 
  • Adheres to the Mt Langi Ghiran Management Plan to protect heritage views
  • Matches far more - 20/22 - of VicRoads’ own route selection criteria than Option 1 

In light of the evidence, VicRoads have:

  • Fallen short of the standards and intention of  the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) and Victoria’s Native Vegetation Management: a Framework for Action (2002)
  • Not used the full scope available to reduce the impact of road design and building methods
  • Not used taxpayers money carefully

Approving the Northern Option saves:

  • Around 70 large old trees, including Victoria’s second largest Yellow Gum and 2 trees that are approximately 700 years old
  • Habitat of the critically endangered Golden Sun Moth (31 hectares), the Bearded Dragon, the critically endangered Striped Legless Lizard, the rare Barking Owl, and the State listed Brush-tailed Phascogale
  • Rare Spring ‘soak’ groundwater that maintains a large area of plants and trees 

Please join us for social, cultural and environmental justice by adding your signature and sharing this petition to raise awareness. You can also find more information about the campaign at www.fixfreewayfiasco.org Together we can make a difference.



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