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E-Gate stalls

29 Oct 2015

E-Gate stalls Image

By Bethany Williams

The E-Gate project appears to have stalled, with the State Government yet to select, or even shortlist, developers to construct the new suburb to our immediate north.

Expressions of interest to develop the 20 ha site closed on February 19 this year but, according to a Major Projects Victoria spokesperson, the Government is still considering the submissions.

“No developers have been short-listed or selected to develop the site yet,” the spokesperson said.

“To protect the probity of the E-Gate procurement process, details on the number, nature or source of the submissions cannot be provided.”

Slides illustrating a speech by Planning Minister Richard Wynne to the Property Council on October 27 did not include E-Gate in a map of future inner city urban renewal areas. Docklands, Fishermans Bend and Arden were marked on the map.

When questioned why E-Gate was not there, Mr Wynne didn’t say.

He said: “If you think about E-Gate in the context of the new Melbourne Metro Rail station, this will be basically in the middle, around Queensberry St in North Melbourne, that is going to open up that whole area.  It’s seen as being both Arden/Macaulay and E-Gate.  It’s part of the plan for the greater growth of the area.”

While Major Projects isn’t giving anything else away, some have drawn connections between the lack of movement and the Western Distributor proposal currently being assessed by the State Government.

The proposal, put forward by toll road operator Transurban, would connect the West Gate Freeway with CityLink near Footscray Rd. The new road is proposed to also continue beyond CityLink towards Docklands but its exit point remains (literally) up in the air.

The most recent Western Distributor design update was released in September and shows the elevated road above Footscray Rd ending approximately adjacent to the E-Gate site, around the point of Costco.

A Transurban spokesperson said the proposal included freeway-to-freeway connections with CityLink and that connections with the city were still being explored.

The spokesperson did not comment on how Western Distributor would connect with E-Gate.

Other elements of the Western Distributor proposal include additional lanes in each direction on the West Gate Freeway and a tunnel under Yarraville.

See our story (right) for further detail on the proposal and potential impacts on Docklands.

The State Government is yet to make a decision on the Western Distributor proposal.

However, Transurban says it understands the Government expects to make a decision about whether it should proceed to the next stage of assessment by the end of the year.

As for E-Gate, it’s unclear when any movement on the project can be expected.

The idea of redeveloping the 20-hectare site, bounded by Dudley St, the railway line, Moonee Ponds Creek and Footscray Rd was first floated in 2009.

In 2012 the State Government funded a $2 million business case to assess the potential of the site and in 2013 committed $2.14 million to progress E-Gate planning.

In October last year the State Government opened the Expressions of Interest process.

At the time, the Government said it expected the 20 ha project would generate $3-4 billion worth of investment in Victoria.

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