Council flags concerns about possible impacts from metro rail network upgrade


Brimbank Council has endorsed a submission to the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority (MMRA), raising concerns about possible impacts the Metro Rail Network Upgrade work may have on state and regionally significant native vegetation and species, as well as heritage buildings.

The submission supports Planning Scheme Amendment GC96 – but raises concerns regarding the extent of the work area, and potential impacts. .

Brimbank Mayor Cr Margaret Giudice said that Council recognises the importance of the Metro Rail Network Upgrade and the significant improvement it will make to the rail system and metropolitan communities.

“The metro rail network upgrade project is supported by Council’s Unlock the Potential – Transport Priorities Paper.

“However we are concerned there could be potential impacts on a number of Brimbank sites that support the Critically Endangered Natural Temperate Grasslands of the Victorian Volcanic Plains and Spiny Rice-flower, the Endangered Button Wrinklewort, and the vulnerable Striped Legless Lizard.

“It is important that Nationally Significant native vegetation and species, and any heritage significant buildings located within the rail corridor are not impacted by the works. This includes Matthews Hill Grassland in Sunshine, Denton Grassland in St Albans and five other sites between Albion and Keilor Plains Station.”

The submission also calls for:

  • A designated project area to be shown on a map in the draft incorporated plan so that it is clear what land is impacted within Brimbank
  • The opportunity for Council to review and provide comment on ecological assessments to ensure all values have been identified
  • An Environmental Management Plan, including controls, 'no-go' zone and monitoring/audit frequencies to be provided to Council prior to the commencement of works
  • A final report to be provided to Council detailing all of the native vegetation and species habitat impacted or removed as part of works
  • Further assessments to understand and minimise potential impacts on any heritage buildings and sites

The MMRA has identified that eight heritage sites will be affected by the Amendment. Although Council doesn’t expect that the heritage buildings will be affected, Council is seeking that the following buildings not be exempt from requiring notification and planning permission for buildings and works:

  • HV McKay Memorial Gardens
  • Albion Sub-Station
  • Sunshine Railway Signal Box
  • Sydenham Railway Station
  • Sydenham and St Albans Railway Culverts (HO41 and HO43).

“Council wants ongoing engagement with MMRA throughout the project. This will help ensure environmental and heritage impacts are avoided and minimised,” Cr Giudice said.

Council is also seeking a range of amenity and other matters including the consideration of noise impacts and mitigation measures, other safety measures to prevent access to the rail corridor, high standards of design to ensure that buildings make a positive contribution to the community.