Western Highway opposition resolves to fight on

The group opposed to VicRoads’ chosen Western Highway duplication route between Buangor and Ararat will continue its fight.

More than 20 people met in Ararat to discuss the case, which last month was adjourned until May 5, to allow VicRoads time to present a case for new planning approval. Expired planning permits halted work on the 12-kilometre project last November. VicRoads must re-submit an application to Planning Minister Richard Wynne, including an incorporated document that outlines the impact of the planned construction.

The solicitor representing the group, Michael Kennedy, said his clients would withdraw their legal challenge if Mr Wynne sent VicRoads’ new plan to a panel of experts to re-examine if their route was the safest option.

“If Richard Wynne says he is prepared to take some submissions on fresh evidence and let that fresh evidence be taken to a panel, they will probably withdraw the legal fight. If on the other hand it is explained at that hearing by the VicRoads people that they are going to re-introduce the same incorporated document as before, then I believe my clients will oppose that position.”