Mount Cooper residents slam bus cuts, overdevelopment

Residents of the newly established Mount Cooper Estate in Bundoora in Melbourne’s north are fighting to save local parkland and restore their bus services.

In early April residents discovered that the 563 bus service which linked them to Plenty Road, Northlands and Greensborough was about to be withdrawn by the Ted Baillieu Coalition State Government. Residents of the estate now have to cross Plenty Road to access public transport, which exposes school children from the estate to increased traffic hazards and is too far for many elderly residents to walk.

Local MP Colin Brooks presented a petition of 300 signatures calling for the retention of local buses to parliament on May 22.

The Bring Back the Buses Action Group scheduled a rally on May 26 in the estate to protest these and other bus cuts, only to discover that another issue had broken out on the estate and that another rally had been called for the same day.

Developers had lodged plans with Darebin Council for a 10 storey tower with 474 units and eleven shops at the entrance to the estate in Snake Gully Drive on the former Smorgys site. The protest against this overdevelopment attracted almost a hundred residents while the bus rally attracted a further fifteen people.

The Save Bundoora Park Group is opposing the development plan. The group is urging Darebin residents lodge objections to protect the park and the character of the local area. The proposed development fails to respect the low-rise character of Bundoora; threatens mature gum trees in the park; will add to traffic, parking problems and noise; will overlook children’s play areas; spoil the view of the park and overshadow the park and local housing.

Concerned residents are urged to call the Darebin Planning Department on 8470 8850 and ask for an objection form for application number D/173/2011.The deadline for lodging objections is June 12.

Residents of Melbourne’s north can also support the campaign to restore local bus services by emailing or by calling 0425 725 998.

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