Labor green-lights East West tollway

Greens MPs Adam Bandt and Greg Barber have criticised a Gillard government decision not to require an environment impact statement for East West tollway roads and open cuts tunnels that will wreck Royal Park environment reserves and parkland.

"Minister Burke's decision to fast-track approval for the East West tollway shows Labor's opposition to the East West tollway is hollow,” Australian Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt said today.
“The Minister cannot hide behind the letter of the law. He has been more than happy to look for creative ways to halt other environmentally destructive projects, such as Alpine grazing, but here he has given the East West Tollway the green light instead of going the extra mile to stop this environmental vandalism."
"The tollway will be a pollution nightmare and wreck one of Melbourne’s great natural parks."
"If Labor is serious about Metro Rail they need to back my bill to ‘Abbott-proof’ the funding and prioritise the rail project over the East West tollway," said Mr Bandt

"The Environment Minister has been given virtually no information about the project, as have the Victorian public. How can he approve it based on a few squiggles on a map?" asked Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber

"He should have asked for more information, or waited for an actual detailed proposal. He hasn't done his job here, which is to protect the environment and heritage."

"I'll be writing to him asking for detailed reasons and getting my own legal opinion as to whether his decision is even lawful under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act."

"The federal Labor government has turned its back on Melbourne," said Mr Barber