06 March 2012

Railway Electrification Project Briefing

Yesterday Councillors attended a briefing about this project. Although this was scheduled to be started in 2010 it now seems unlikely that any work will commence on the Unley section until early 2013. The state government has embraced this project in an effort to have a faster, cleaner and greener rail network. Hopefully, this will encourage commuters to use the train network and work toward reducing the congestion on the road network. The project will involve the erection of masts and overhead wires (it is considered too dangerous to electrify the rails), the building of 3 substations (locations undecided), the screening of bridges and overpasses ( to avoid accidental electrocution and items being thrown on the tracks) and the relocation of services (mostly ETSA power lines that cross over the track). The masts will be 8m high and spaced at 50 m intervals and where there is no existing fencing a new chain link fence 1.8m high will be erected. It is possible that all vegetation that overhangs the overhead wires will be trimmed back so that they don't. Trees on state land can be pruned or removed regardless of significance if they wish, trees on Council land require an application to Council if they are significant. I asked very clearly when the consultation with our Community would occur and was not all that happy with the answer. The first answer being that they will talk individually to affected landowners and "sort something out". I made it quite clear that our Community wanted public consultation so that everyone would get the same information at the same time and have the advantage of some degree of collective bargaining. I think we were closer to this by the end of the meeting. If some are happy with website based information, newsletters and the odd open day then so be it. However, I think our Community deserves better. The public meetings held, by demand, before the construction of the tram overpass on South Rd caused many changes to plan including the inclusion of the bikeway. I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

  1. What the Eastern Courier had to say 21/3/12

    OUTSPOKEN Unley Councillors will get their wish for wide community consultation about the Noarlunga rail line electrification, the State Government has promised.

    Responding to calls for more local consultation, the Transport Department has indicated a comprehensive program was being planned.

    Goodwood South Ward councillors Don Palmer and Jennie Boisvert have called for the government to consult more widely than just with people living along the rail corridor.

    Cr Palmer said all residents should have access to the same information.

    "We’ve had a number of people indicate they want to be in the loop," Cr Palmer said.

    "They’re concerned about damage to trees and loss to the amenity.

    "We want to make sure the (government) recognises it’s in their interest to have street meetings." A Transport Department spokesman said the consultation would take place once a construction contact had been issued.

    "It is the State Government’s intention to engage with the widest possible range of stakeholders, including train customers, residents and businesses adjacent rail corridors and the wider general public," lie said.