Council supports residents’ fight to keep Austin Park tunnel open

Residents of the Courallie Avenue Precinct are petitioning to keep the Austin Park pedestrian tunnel open, following notification that the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) plans to close it.

Resident Peter Pillai said many elderly residents use the tunnel as a crossing to access Sydney Markets, Flemington railway station and Flemington shops.

“There are many older people who use the tunnel and while I don’t use the tunnel personally, I have seen a lot of less-able people trying to make their way to the tunnel,” he said.

Strathfield Council will support the residents. After meeting with more than 200 residents last month, Councillor Raj Datta raised a motion that council should write to the premier, the roads minister and the shadow minister for roads asking for an alternative plan so residents can keep their access to Flemington market and the station.

Cr Datta proposed several options, including an overhead bridge or tunnel, traffic signals or a pedestrian overpass.

“Austin Park is a key access point for thousands of residents living in the Courallie Avenue Precinct. It is unfair for the state government and RMS to close the tunnel without providing a solution to this problem, especially when there are many elderly people and children that use the tunnel,” said Cr Datta.

Councillor Gulian Vaccari agreed something needs to be done urgently for the residents.

“When this area is fully developed, it is going to be one of the most densely populated areas in Sydney,” said Cr Vaccari

“It is time for an overhead bridge or an underground tunnel.”


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