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Andrews must come clean with community on secret Suburban Rail Loop planning documents

Daniel Andrews and Labor have not been honest with local communities about their plans for high density, high rise development in key locations along the proposed route of the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL). 

Andrews and his Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan have not consulted with councils or local communities about their secret plans for high rise, high density development.

Surely local communities are entitled to have a real say in the future of their suburb. Andrews and Allan have kept these plans secret. Communities are entitled to know if 30, 40 or 50 storey buildings are planned for their town. Why can’t they have a say? What does Andrews have to hide?

Andrews and his Labor ministers have plans for a massive new tax or levy on every family or small business near to the proposed line. It’s time they came clean and told people the truth about the size of the levy to be slapped on their rates.

Jacinta Allan was asked pointedly, three successive times, at the recent Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing to rule out a $5,000 levy on every family’s rate notice. She refused to answer the question. This can only mean Labor’s rumoured plans for levies and taxes are on. If no new levies or taxes are planned to fund the Suburban Rail Loop, Andrews can rule this out today, effectively overruling his Minister.

Some councils have been consulted in secret with their councillors and officers bound to secrecy through an outrageous confidentiality agreement. How can councils represent their community and properly consult with them if they are bound or blocked by confidentiality agreements. These secret planning steps are undemocratic and clearly Andrews seeks to override local communities.

Surely communities deserve a say. Why can’t we see the planning documents and business case for the Suburban Rail Loop?

Victorians need accountability and transparency from the Andrews Labor Government. It’s time to come clean on the Suburban Rail Loop.

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