Scotch College is examining all possible means, including possible legal action, to require Transurban/CityLink to meet higher noise protection standards than it currently intends.
Words: Tim Shearer • Editor Photography: Cloud 9
Scotch College is awaiting a detailed briefing from Transurban/CityLink revealing how the road’s operator proposes to limit traffic noise from the widened Monash tollway.
Transurban/CityLink is conducting complex modelling of expected noise levels from the expanded road and is expected to present the outcomes to Scotch before the end of May.
Transurban/CityLink has told Scotch that the widened tollway is expected to carry as many as 300,000 vehicles a day, compared with current volumes of about 160,000 vehicles per day.
The College is yet to receive assurances from Transurban/
CityLink that it will commit to providing significant improvement in noise reduction measures. It has only committed, so far, to provide noise barriers across Glenferrie Road and to maintaining the enhanced acoustic protection Scotch College paid for in 1998–99.
Scotch has engaged acoustics experts to verify the traffic noise data that Transurban/CityLink relies upon and to prepare a comprehensive response to help ensure the best possible noise protection for the school.
Scotch College is examining all means available to require Transurban/CityLink to meet higher noise protection standards than it currently intends.
During April, Transurban/CityLink and VicRoads briefed the College Council and senior administrative staff on its plans for the tollway widening.
Alarmingly, the construction of the widened tollway will mean the loss of significant number of mature native trees, including river red gums.
College Principal, Dr Gordon Donaldson, said it was most unfortunate that Scotch was again facing the loss of a substantial parcel of land, but it was now of paramount importance to ensure the interests of the College were protected.
A committee of the College council, chaired by parent, Dr David Kemp, is preparing detailed plans on a range of issues to ensure Scotch College achieves the best possible outcomes in the tollway widening.
The school is determined to make sure the tollway widening has the least possible impact on the operations, environment and amenity of the College, both during construction and when the expanded road is in operation.
Minimising traffic noise affecting the school site is the priority issue for Scotch, as noise levels in classrooms and outdoor areas significantly affect the quality of education that can be provided.
School Council and Management of the School will continue to negotiate on these matters and a range of other issues with Transurban/CityLink, the Victorian Government and VicRoads during coming months.
We will keep you updated on these and other aspects of the tollway widening project through future editions of Great Scot.
You might also wish to visit the Scotch College website
www.scotch.vic.edu.au/tollway/tollway.htm for new information pages and for an online forum where we will ask you to provide the school administration and the Council with your feedback, ideas and opinions.
The College Council regards the planned tollway widening as the single greatest threat to the College’s operations and long-term security.
The Council is devoting considerable resources to ensure all risks posed by the tollway widening are identified and every possible measure is taken to protect the College’s interests.
The Council has appointed a committee to oversee the School’s response, chaired by parent Dr David Kemp. The committee is meeting regularly and members of the committee are involved in direct negotiations with Transurban/CityLink, VicRoads and the State Government.
As well as working closely with the College’s legal advisers, the committee has appointed a range of expert advisers, including:
The College Bursar, Ross Congleton, and his staff are providing considerable administrative support in coordinating the various streams of work.
The College is providing a formal response to Transurban/CityLink on its preferences for scheduling of the construction program and for reinstatement of the construction track and affected area.
The College’s detailed response on traffic noise issues and design of new noise barriers is likely to be provided in late May or early June.
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)