Dr. Gillian Sparkes
Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability
Level 16, 570 Bourke St.
Melbourne Vic. 3000
Dear Dr. Sparkes
I write seeking an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) or consideration of The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act Relating to the removal of Seaford Road Railway Crossing, in Seaford Victoria.
As I’m sure you are aware the Environmental Protection and Biological Diversity Act (EPBC) must be invoked with any large infrastructure project, it has not been invoked, and thus no Environmental Effects Study (EES) has been triggered. The Ramsar Wetlands are specifically noted in the EPBC act. By not doing an EES (whether the rail goes under or over the road) Australia is breaking international Migratory Bird Agreements with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
For your information 17 species of migratory birds from the Northern Hemisphere visit the Edithvale/Seaford Ramsar Wetlands. These wetlands regularly support more than 1 percent of the East Asian Flyaway population of the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, a waterbird species which is listed as a species of international importance under the Jamba and Camba agreements. The Australasian Bittern is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. The South-East Australian population of Australian Bitterns, supported by these wetlands, is one of four remaining in the world.
Air quality will be reduced due to greenhouse gas emissions from the increase in fuel of the freight trains going up, then down on the Frankston Line. Each freight train has two engines to pull it, each train has approximately 30 trucks and in each truck there are two coils of steel weighing approximately 30 tonnes each. We believe a rail under road design which will not use as much fuel.
It should be noted that the elevated rail will be 700 metres from the Ramsar Wetlands and is directly next to sporting grounds. It should be recognised that the pollution from the carcinogenic fumes will become airborne and drift over to the wetlands and sporting fields.
Social Structure and Networks. Antisocial behaviour and graffiti on the pylons under the elevated rail. These pylons will need to be close together to bear the weight of the freight trains therefore there will be no meaningful recreational space as put forward by LXRA: instead it will be a railway bridge to blight our community. In a predominantly low rise housing area the elevated rail is out of character and will be a visual eyesore for many, many years to come.
Amenity. Substantial overshadowing of properties near or along the rail corridor robbing us of a basic amenity — sunlight. Lack of sunlight is a known cause for depression and lack of the feeling of well being.
Social vulnerability and different effects on a part of the community. This includes security risk in streets along the rail corridor due to increased accessibility to the rear of properties. Over 97 % of the community are against any elevated rail option.
I ask you Dr. Sparkes how does this not trigger an EES? I ask for your support to call for an EES and please note time is of an essence so any action taken will need to be expedient.
(Sign your name ……………………………….)