Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc. (PPL VIC)
Media Release Wednesday 8 May 2013
Yesterday saw Premier Denis Napthine announce funding for the East West (Road) Link in the State Budget. Thus he has condemned Melbourne to future gridlock and has put on hold improved public transport in the form of urban rail to Doncaster, Tullamarine, Rowville and South Morang. PPL VIC together with many inner city community groups and Yarra Council has, over the past two years, been campaigning for “Trains Not Toll Roads “.
Julianne Bell Secretary of PPL VIC explains: “This morning, ABC radio 774 listeners were staggered to hear the Treasurer, Mr Michael O’Brien, say that the “tunnel” would link Hoddle Street and CityLink but there would be no access/exits for commuters to the city where much of the traffic off the Eastern Freeway is headed. This was the plan for a truck bypass of the city proposed by the Eddington Review of 2008. (The East West Link proposal was scrapped by the Brumby Labor Government.) Community groups such as PPL VIC were alarmed over information supplied by Linking Melbourne Authority, the project “proponent”, at a community briefing held on 3 April 2013 that the 4 lane roadway will not be in a tunnel (as the Treasurer maintains) for the entire 18 kilometre length. Some sections will be in the form of an aerial roadway or constructed by open cut methods. Consequently we fear for the future of our heritage streetscapes, our gracious treed avenues, for Royal Park and for the institutions located in the park – the Royal Children’s Hospital, the Melbourne Zoo and the State Netball and Hockey Centre.”
Rod Quantock, Acting President of PPL VIC takes a long term view:
“The squandering of our common wealth on an unnecessary road link is to be condemned. The car is not the answer for the future, a future that, in light of CO2 pollution, peak oil and over-population, requires new ways of living, working and moving. The CSIRO has predicted petrol prices could be as high as $8 per litre by the end of this decade. Who will use this road then? Who will use it when predicted days of 50 degrees centigrade plus bend and buckle it? Who will use it when an extra 2 million people clog the city's arteries? It is time for our craven leaders to stand-up to the road lobbies, to show leadership and foresight and a commitment to the well-being of future Melburnians. It is time to back public transport.”
PPL VIC and inner city community groups together with the Coalition of Transport Action Groups will continue to oppose the East West Link and to lobby for improved public transport, in particular urban rail lines to Doncaster and Tullamarine. We will be taking the message to candidates in the next State Government election.
Julianne Bell PPL VIC Secretary Mobile: 0408 022408
Rod Quantock PPL VIC Acting President 0438 862079