Fate of East-West toll road rests with Labor

Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt MP today said that the fate of the proposed $8 billion East-West toll road rests with Labor.

“Dennis Napthine is proceeding to flush at least $8 billion dollars of taxpayers’ money down the drain, with Linking Melbourne Authority reportedly consulting with councils on where the groundwork will begin,” said Mr Bandt.

“If Labor commits to tearing up the contracts for the proposed toll road if it wins the State election later this year, I don’t believe that the project would proceed.

“What’s needed is a clear and unambiguous statement from Labor that it will scrap the project and start again. At the moment, it seems to be having a bet each way.

“It’s worth reiterating that $8bn properly allocated would do so much more to improve Melbourne than if it is just spent on this white elephant in the making,” said Mr Bandt.

According to Beyond Zero Emissions, $8bn could fund:-

• Doncaster rail
• The Melbourne airport link
• the Melton rail duplication
• the Dandenong upgrade (removing 20-plus level crossings), a game-changing upgrade of signalling technology, allowing trains to run every two minutes, and 50 new, bigger trains. Each peak-hour train can take 800 cars off the road.

This funding, properly allocated would reduce ‘rat runners’ and create many more jobs than the proposed toll road.