Who is caring for the city?

By Rhonda Dredge

The cold hard light of argument bathed all in its uniform shades during the public hearing into the environmental effects of the proposed Metro Tunnel. 

RMIT is the major landholder near the CBD North Station. Excavation of a shaft and a cabin will begin in Franklin St in January, submitting the university to 36 weeks of vibration and noise.

Contractors are expected to work 18 hour days at noise levels of up to 90 decibels. The threshold for indoor teaching and research laboratories is 40 decibels.

Chris Townshend for the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority said that a certain level of discomfort needed to be “tolerated by the city”.

Readings in Swanston St near the university already showed a background noise profile of more than 80 decibels, he said.

‘That is the noise character within which RMIT sets itself up,” he said.

Building 14 houses a radiation store and sensitive equipment such as confocal and electron microscopes.

Landowners from Flinders Lane and Swanston St will have their say in October.

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