Wynne rules out tram bridge

Wynne rules out tram bridge

Planning Minister Richard Wynne has publicly ruled out the Fishermans Tram Bridge.

Speaking at a Fishermans Bend community forum on February 29, Mr Wynne said: “That’s been ruled out. It was ruled out before the last election by us in opposition.”

“We will be coming up with proposals for how we address a light-rail link, just not that one,” Mr Wynne said.

The statement comes after the City of Port Phillip took its campaign for the construction of the tram-bridge to Federal Parliament.

Last month it made a submission to a parliamentary committee inquiry claiming the early delivery of the tram extension would unlock up to $200 million in state and local government revenue.

The council has been pushing for construction of the Collins St tram extension since 2014. The tram extension would see a bridge built from the end of Collins St across the river, blocking off the marina and cutting through Yarra’s Edge.

The council continues to advocate for construction of the bridge despite the State Government ruling out the tram bridge option following the Labor Party’s election in 2014.

In its submission to the parliamentary inquiry on “The Role of Transport Connectivity on Stimulating Development and Economic Activity”, the council says the early delivery of the Collins St tram extension is “vital in realising the envisioned boost to accessibility, land values and in the longer-term an improved urban renewal outcome” for Fishermans Bend.

The submission relies largely on a 2014 report by AECOM, which the council commissioned.

Port Phillip Mayor Bernadene Voss said the independent report had found early delivery of the $300 million Collins St tram extension could result in a $1.1 billion uplift in the value of Fishermans Bend land.

“The uplift generated for landowners and developers by this public investment could lead to about $200 million in extra revenue to State and Local Government through rates, stamp duty, development contributions and land tax as Fishermans Bend attracts more families and businesses,” Cr Voss said.

“The 2018 delivery of a ‘turn up and go’ public transport link to the CBD, such as the Collins St tram extension, remains a key council priority and we welcome the committee’s interests in exploring value capture as a funding mechanism for critical, city shaping projects.”

The council has the support of the Bicycle Network, which agrees the bike and tram bridge would have a positive impact on the economy.

The Yarra’s Edge community has been vocal about its opposition to the proposed bridge since 2013, when it was featured in the draft vision for Fishermans Bend.

Yarra’s Edge resident Phillip Spender said his reaction to the AECOM report was that it was out of date.

“It was written to perfume a pig and support a cause. It’s not relevant to the discussion at the moment given Fishermans Bend is being recast,” Mr Spender said.

“Presently there isn’t a transport plan for Fishermans Bend and everyone recognises this is necessary for its success, but there are plenty of other options.”

“The tram bridge is not currently on the table and, as a community, we’ll be doing everything we can to ensure it’s never back on the table.”

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