“You can rule out Doncaster rail to the City via the freeway because Vic Roads want the the median strip reserved for dedicated Bus lanes”.  26/8/2016                                                   

No Railway– Buses Only

The release of the North East Link last Friday has officially ended any hope of a rail line being extended to Doncaster Hill after it was confirmed the freeway centre strip would be replaced to provide dedicated bus lanes.    northeastlink.vic.gov.au

Both Liberal and labor  governments had always regarded buses as the only public transport solution for Doncaster Hill and had repeatedly advised Manningham to “stop tugging in other directions”.  That didn’t stop an opposition party proposing a $6.5 Million study, as an election campaign ploy, which  was only half completed after it won office.

What surprised residents was how easily Council could be sucked into believing the politicians by providing a false hope to Doncaster residents and investors by embarking

on a spending spree promoting the heavy rail line, when, even if it was feasible, would not have occurred for at least 20 years and could only have terminated at Greythorn and not on Doncaster Hill where it was most needed.

2014 Rail Campaign
Click to enlarge

This is a major blow to the Manningham Council who had spent a significant amount of municipal resources in promoting a railway station on Doncaster Hill who will now have to rely solely on buses. However,  even without the provision of rail to Doncaster Hill, the grade-separation of buses will still be required throughout Doncaster Hill. Without this, it is anticipated that road-based public transport services will fail to operate successfully over the coming years due to the delay and impact, primarily to buses, caused by ongoing development and increasing traffic congestion in the central activity area.

Coincidentally Doncaster Hill property sales fared poorly on the weekend following the announcement of the selected route where only four properties were sold out of the twelve reported. A two bedroom on the fourth floor of a major Doncaster Hill apartment complex failed to reach the price it was purchased for six years previous.

North Balwyn Protest             Click to enlarge


  1. Catfishjoe says:

    There is no guarantee this project will proceed even if contracts are signed and properties acquired if what occurred with the much awaited east/west link is an example. ….so how can you take them seriously. Why throw a Billion dollars away in cancelling the project?
    They haven’t revealed where the $16.5 Million will come from if option A goes ahead ..can you imagine what the cost of options B or C would be.
    Already the opposition are talking about building the east/west link at the same time.
    Embarrassing isn’t it?

  2. Debacle says:

    The prospect of a railway had been kept alive to generate the development of Doncaster Hill there is no doubt about that. The grade separation of buses will not happen because of the hilly terrain and the haphazard street layout. I remember a retiring VicRoads official’s comments about the Doncaster Hill developments not having a “dunny run” a term used where night carts could operate at the rear of properties …..what we might call a service lane or a rear parallel road today.

  3. Sheppard S says:

    While the N E link was in its final stages of planning the Manningham Council were still promoting the railway via the freeway. It did not matter as far as locals were concerned, except for the deception and the sheer waste of ratepayer’s funds, because everyone knew there was never a possibility of a train to Doncaster Hill. It is the overseas investors, who now account for 90% of apartment sales, who have been duped. To make matters worse we still don’t know how many of these Doncaster apartment buildings are wrapped in flammable cladding.

    1. Truetoform says:

      They have just announced that there are nearly 1500 apartment buildings with the illegal cladding but they won’t say where. Bill Shorten has declared that it is not a question of if there is catastrophic fire caused by this flammable cladding but WHEN. These crooks and corrupt consultants who approved this material should be put in jail.

  4. Ladybird says:

    At least we know where we stand now that they have confirmed what we already suspected.. Maybe now they will approve an extension of the North Balwyn tram to Tunstall Square to create a connection with other sections along the route, not necessarily for the city bound. But I have concerns that they will do nothing because it is extra work and humbug for these lazy bureaucrats especially now that the Doncaster Hill is approaching completion and falling apartment values are not their concern..

  5. Gadfly says:

    The best price you can get if your selling an apartment on Doncaster Hill is around $7,500.00 per m2, pretty much the same price they were selling for back in 2010. It is a rip off by the time you add up all the out of pocket costs including agents fees, rates, stamp duty, body corporate and legal charges you are far worse off than if you had rented in the period..

    Suggestion:There is enough space in a detached house for couples to be sharing the rent to help save for a deposit on a proper home. You would still have more room than in an apartment, you don’t have to worry about noisy tenants adjoining or rubbing shoulders with people in the lifts from the 10th floor you really want to avoid and you have the added luxury of a backyard for the children to play in and room enough for the summer barbeque.

  6. Synstrat says:

    Where is the world class public transport system planned for Doncaster Hill?
    Where are the empty nesters who were supposed to flock to the Doncaster Hill high rise apartments?
    Where is the local demand for high rise tower living and why are we now almost entirely dependent on overseas purchasers and developers?
    Where are the 10,000 full time jobs that the Manningham Council promised in their Doncaster Hill brochures?
    Where is the parking facilities for the five million people they say will visit Doncaster Hill?
    Where are all the cyclists that were supposed to be pedalling throughout Doncaster Hill?
    Where are the pedestrian overpasses for safe access to Westfield.
    Where is the “Green Hill”? Where are wind turbines and solar panels that were to be located on High Rise buildings?

    1. Reg says:

      There were instances where consultants who had previously worked with Council were engaged to conduct studies concerning the planning of the Hill which was not a good look considering that Manningham itself was promoting the Doncaster Hill project and needed to remove any hint of cronyism. Not that they couldn’t have obtained favorable conclusions elsewhere considering the competition in the industry and the importance of repeat work. This was the mindset that was responsible for the installation of illegal flammable cladding in buildings throughout Australia being approved. Who do you trust?

    2. John says:

      They have ruined Doncaster Hill with this all about nothing bulldust and getting paid a fortune for doing it..
      “The range of case studies looking at zero net emission urban precincts, small scale renewable energy facilities, ecologically sustainable development (ESD) projects and climate change plans, nationally and internationally “. “These represent a range of government and private developer projects relevant to opportunities identified for Doncaster Hill”.

      “The analyses of growth in the residential, commercial, retail and community/miscellaneous development sectors, what the projected energy requirements are based on business as usual, and the associated greenhouse gas emissions impacts”.
      Makes you feel like vomiting!

  7. Tempura says:

    Only a fool would believe that a train was possible when they cancelled the second half of the rail study. A rail station at park and ride would be useless anyway.

  8. Stop Option A says:

    Most of us knew that the North East Link Authority (NELA) had been told by the state government to select option A, prior to the investigation beginning. The technical and environmental engineers recommended option C internally, but it was overturned to give the state government what it wants. The $16.5bn does not include the Eastern Freeway works, nor does it include the inevitable duplication of the Mullum Mullum tunnels if this goes ahead. The total cost of option A is over $20bn, which is what option C would have cost.

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