Planning committee urged to reject East-West toll road

Greens Deputy Leader and Member for Melbourne Adam Bandt MP today urged the project assessment committee to reject the proposed East-West toll road.

“Although today was the first time I have had the opportunity to address the committee, what I said hasn’t changed. This proposal is a white elephant in the making that will waste billions of taxpayers’ dollars, fill our suburbs up with more cars, create more pollution and destroy what’s best about inner Melbourne,” said Mr Bandt.

“The proposed project’s numbers don’t add up and there’s no business case for it. It will turn the city into a rat’s nest of on and off ramps and people will still be stuck in traffic because the road will quickly fill up with more cars, adding to pollution.

“There’s a simple solution that is more affordable and will work better: a rail line to Doncaster down the centre of the Eastern Freeway. It will get you in and out of the city much quicker, giving you more quality time. Trains are unbeatable when it comes to clean and efficient mass transit.

“This year’s State election will be crucial. The Liberals want the toll road built and so does Labor as long as the Liberals do the dirty work and sign the contracts first. But if the Greens get into balance of power, we will make them tear up the contracts and build a rail line.

“The Liberal State Government is intent on wasting billions of taxpayers’ money, not on doing what’s best for Melbourne. It must be stopped.

“Melbourne is a world-class city. Overseas cities are cleaning up their centres and building clean, efficient and attractive public transport infrastructure. That is what will improve Melbourne’s status as a world-class city. Roads that pollute, quickly get congested and don’t move people efficiently won’t.

“More public transport is the answer. Most Melburnians get it and the Greens get it but 1950s throwbacks Dennis Napthine and Tony Abbott think that short-term, expensive roads are the only option” said Mr Bandt.