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Adjournment: Bell Station Car Park

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Samantha Ratnam
Leader of the Victorian Greens
24 November 2020

My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Transport Infrastructure, and the action I seek is that the plans for the Bell station redevelopment be revised so that the entry point to the car park is moved to the western side. Bell station is one of the many stations across Melbourne that is part of the Level Crossing Removal Project, and plans for the redevelopment of the station are underway. Under the current plans for the station redevelopment the entry point to the car park is a narrow residential street. This will pump hundreds of cars into a residential neighbourhood frequented by pedestrians and by children who use these streets to play as the area already has limited open space. It is disappointing that the government is going ahead with these plans when there is a simple alternative. Putting the entrance to the car park on the west side would give drivers better access from Bell Street and make things safer for commuters, road users and pedestrians as well as protecting the amenity of the quiet residential streets to the east.

The Bell Residents Group and the Preston and Thornbury community are calling for the entry to the car park to be moved to the west side, and their petition has more than 1600 signatures. But their work is falling on deaf ears, as the minister, their local member—the member for Northcote—and the Level Crossing Removal Project are not listening. The community supports the Level Crossing Removal Project and is trying to engage with the process. They simply want the final design to be safe and to benefit the community rather than destroying local amenity and safety, yet the government is pushing ahead with these plans and community feedback has been ignored. This is not the first time that community concerns have been ignored by the Level Crossing Removal Project, as the Preston community knows well after the authority placed an electric substation within 6 metres of the nearest home, with no consultation. So it is extremely frustrating that this is happening once again, especially when the community has identified a simple and effective alternative. I ask the minister to revise the plans for the Bell station car park so that the access point is moved to the western side.

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Samantha Ratnam
Leader of the Victorian Greens
24 November 2020
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