Tunnel Vision


East West Link was a proposed 2 stage, 18-kilometre, $18 billion road tollway in Melbourne, Australia.

Tunnel Vision is the story of the communities that rose up against the infrastructure project because it threatened to make Melbourne more car dependent, more congested and undermine its liveability, sustainability and environment.

This extraordinary citizens’ movement saw people come together to question the dubious politics, flawed processes and narrow focus on expensive toll roads and demand improved public transport to ease congestion.

The campaign demonstrated that a healthy democracy is one in which citizens are heard and involved in decision making about their future.

The following people appear on screen in Tunnel Vision, either in interviews or archival footage or both. They are listed in order of appearance and their credentials are those that were current at the time of filming.

Curriculum links

As cities and communities continue to grapple with competing transport interests and solutions to congestion, Tunnel Vision explores transport in the context of liveability, sustainability and environmental health by providing an account of the East West Link. The documentary provides students with the opportunity to assess the viability and value of the road project through discussions of the proposed benefits and costs of East West Link; identify the stakeholders; and determine the likely environmental impacts and risks associated with East West Link. Tunnel Vision also explores the theme of self-empowerment and collective activism as vital elements for a healthy democracy and provides an insight into the media’s role in shaping perspectives.

Activities in this study guide provide opportunities for students to:

• respond to Tunnel Vision both personally and in detached and critical ways;

• access, synthesise and apply information from credible sources to further their knowledge and understanding of East West Link;

• account for different interpretations and points of view;

• use their own written, spoken and multimodal texts to explore concepts and ideas and to clarify their own and others’ understanding.

This study guide to accompany Tunnel Vision has been written for secondary students at all levels. It provides information and suggestions for activities in Civics and Citizenship, English, Environmental Science, Geography, Legal Studies and Media.

Teachers should consult the Australian Curriculum online at http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/ and curriculum outlines relevant to these learning areas in their state or territory.

Lesson timing

The study guide is structured as a series of lessons that address the issues and ideas explored in Tunnel Vision. The lessons, for the most part, are ordered according to the narrative arc of the documentary.Given the variations in lesson length from school to school, teachers and the differing abilities of students, teachers need to consider the time required to complete activities before embarking on the lesson. Teachers should select information and activities that will best support their students’ viewing and close analysis of the documentary.

Learning areas
Civics and Citizenship (Years 7 – 10)
• Reflect on their role as a citizen and how and why individuals and groups, participate in and contribute to civic life.• Critically evaluate information and ideas from a range of sources in relation to civics and citizenship topics and issues.• Use democratic processes to reach consensus on a course of action relating to a civics or citizenship issue.• Identify and analyse the challenges to and ways of sustaining a resilient democracy and cohesive society.
English (Years 7 – 12)
• Analyse and evaluate how people, cultures, places, events, objects and concepts are represented in texts through language, structural and/or visual choices.• Determine the social, moral and ethical positions represented in texts.• Identify and analyse implicit or explicit values, beliefs and assumptions in texts and how these are influenced by purposes and likely audiences.• Develop and present reasoned points of view on issues of contemporary social relevance.
Environmental Science (Years 11 – 12)
• Examine the interactions and interconnectedness between humans and their environments.• Investigate the extent to which humans modify their environments and the consequences of these changes in local and global contexts.• Explore the conceptual, behavioural, ethical and technological responses to these changes.• Investigate and evaluate issues, changes and alternative proposals by considering both shorter and longer term consequences for the individual, environment and society.
Geography (Years 7 – 12)
• Identify the causes and consequences and management of human-induced environmental change.• Explore the concept of sustainability and determine the causes of unsustainability.• Investigate environmental geography through an in-depth study of a specific environment.• The application of geographical concepts and methods to the management of the environmental change being investigated.
Legal Studies (Years 11 – 12)
• Apply knowledge of legal concepts and principles to a range of actual and/or hypothetical scenarios.• Examine the freedoms that enable active participation in Australia’s democracy within the bounds of law, including freedom of speech, association and assembly.• Examine how citizens can participate in Australia’s democracy, including use of the electoral system, contact with their elected representatives, use of lobby groups, and direct action.• Understand legal rights and responsibilities, and the effectiveness of the protection of rights in Australia.
Media (Years 9 – 12)
• Explore and evaluate how genre and media conventions and technical and symbolic elements are manipulated to make representations and meaning.• Identify and analyse how social and cultural values and alternative points of view are portrayed in media artworks.• Examine and evaluate how social, institutional and ethical issues influence the making and use of media artworks.