Ms SANDELL (Melbourne) — (11 683) Tonight I raise a matter for the Minister for Public Transport. I ask for the minister to meet with residents of North Melbourne to explain how their properties will be protected from any damage during the construction or operation of the Melbourne Metro project and how they will be compensated if any damage does occur. There are a large number of residents in North Melbourne who fully support the Melbourne Metro project but do not feel like they have been adequately listened to regarding the impacts on their quality of life and also their properties. These residents know, as I do, that Melbourne Metro will be of great benefit to the entire city of Melbourne, and they support the project, as do I. However, they have raised with me some very valid concerns and questions about how the construction and the operation of the project may impact upon them.
They are concerned that, given the tunnel depth in North Melbourne is relatively shallow compared to the current city loop tunnels, they may experience vibration and also noise after Melbourne Metro is complete. There are also concerns that there may be damage to their properties during the construction, but it seems that not all households will be offered an assessment of their properties before construction to establish a baseline for any future damage that may occur.
They are also concerned that there does not seem to be any information available at the moment about which body will be responsible for compensation, should it be required, after the metro rail project is complete. I know that projects elsewhere, such as Crossrail in the UK, have established a very clear policy for compensation, investigation and complaint handling arising as a direct result of the 42 kilometres of tunnels under London. The minister here has not announced any details of a similar process in Victoria, and my constituents would like to know if a similar body or process will be set up in Melbourne. Residents would also like to know what authority will be responsible for ensuring noise and vibration are constantly and consistently mitigated after the project has been completed.
We applaud this government for committing to the Melbourne Metro rail project, but it seems only fair that residents who will be most affected in North Melbourne are given some certainty about these important issues, as they will have a huge impact on their quality of life as well as their properties into the future.