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Boating - “Ghost” of tram bridge lingers

04 Jun 2014

The Fishermans Bend tram bridge appears unlikely to go ahead any time soon, but is not completely off the table yet.

The proposed tram bridge, which would cross the river from Collins St, cutting through Yarra’s Edge, has been strongly opposed by local residents and boat users.

While opponents have been buoyed by its exclusion from last month’s state budget, the potential transport link made an appearance in the Plan Melbourne report released on May 19.

Alternative transport options were favoured in the budget, with $5 million allocated for improved transport infrastructure for routes 109 and 96 in the suburb and $830 million to start construction of the Melbourne Rail Link, which includes a Fishermans Bend station at Montague.

Speaking at the launch of council’s draft 2014-15 budget Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the Yarra’s Edge community would be delighted by the funding for a Fishermans Bend train station, considering they had been facing the threat of the tram bridge.

However, despite its exclusion from the State Budget, the Plan Melbourne report released by the State Government on May 19 includes maps indicating a potential light rail crossing from the end of Collins St across to Yarra’s Edge and into Fishermans Bend.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy was unable to confirm whether the Fishermans Bend tram bridge was still being considered as a potential future transport link.

“One of the keys of a Plan Melbourne document is to identify current, mid-term and long-term infrastructure and investment requirements. This is what makes it such an important document for the future of Melbourne,” Mr Guy said.

“Not all elements will be budgeted for immediately, they will come on line as the need arises. Importantly the Government is prepared.”

Docklands News did not receive a response when it asked if the tram bridge proposal was one of the current, mid-term and long-term infrastructure and investment requirements referred to.

The Yarra’s Edge community also remains in the dark about potential plans for the tram bridge and is awaiting the release of the Fishermans Bend structure plan.

Marina YE tenants committee chair Philip Lack has been vocal about his opposition to the proposed bridge and said he was relieved when it did not receive any funding in the State Budget.

The marina tenants committee and Yarra’s Edge owners corporations joined forces last year to produce a submission in response to the draft Fishermans Bend vision, which included the tram bridge plan.

He said he was happy to see the State Government’s plans for alternate transport options for Fishermans Bend but so far had not received confirmation that the tram bridge plan was off the table.

“Our goal is for it to be removed from the plan completely,” Mr Lack said.

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