Community Forum: Westgate Tunnel Project WON’T WORK

Message from Gerry McLoughlin at IMPA: Following from the very successful forum on the Western Distributor unsolicited bid proposal by TransUrban held at RMIT Centre for Design on 22 March 2017 BETTER WEST Community Group (member group of IMPA inc) with support from IMPA inc, PTUA, TT4e, NMWM and others have organised a Community Forum following the announcement on Sunday 2nd April 2017 of the TransUrban unsolicited bid West Gate Tunnel Project

We would like to invite you to attend this important event to hear from experts on Transport, Air Particulates and from Politicians how this project is a city changer for the worse and will not solve our very real freight on road conflicts to the entire inner Melbourne area.

The community is concerned with various aspects of this project not least the undemocratic nature of the insidious take over strategy of a privately owned transnational company of major public infrastructure. Other crucial issues include

  • public health concerns with increased air particulates
  • outdated transport options – why are we massively investing in road tunnels and not public transport and
  • where are the dedicated freight on rail and freight routes to get freight off local roads

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Roe 8 fails the tests of responsible 21st-century infrastructure planning

The Conversation: Roe 8 fails the tests of responsible 21st-century infrastructure planning Peter Newman (16 February 2017)

The Roe 8 project illustrates all that is wrong with how we are planning and managing infrastructure in our cities. The Beeliar Group suggests the lack of transparency and accountability for the project points to a government that has lost its sense of responsibility. It’s probably also a result of federal government intervention that upset proper processes of planning.

The highly politicised and compromised process is similar to other big road projects across Australia such as East West Link in Melbourne and WestConnex in Sydney. All arose from the Abbott government’s interventions in transport infrastructure.

These interventions were highly unusual. The Commonwealth normally assesses and funds but does not suggest specific projects. The desperate activism associated with these three projects suggests we need to avoid such top-down planning. Read more.

Reasons for de-scoping the Western Distributor

To all parties with an interest in the Western Distributor

Here is Victorian Transport Action Group’s (VTAG’s) paper that assesses the impact of the Western Distributor (WD) and offers 10 recommendations to make it more socially, environmentally and economically acceptable.

VTAG’s major concerns with the WD include:

  • It costs $5.5 Billion and is 11 times larger than the road proposal of the Andrews Government elected in 2014.
  • Transurban’s original ‘unsolicited bid’ has become a massive road cluster linking freeways and arterials in such a way that it induces traffic into the inner and western suburbs and maximises toll revenue for Transurban.
  • The planning and EES processes are insufficient to protect communities from night time truck noise, carcinogenic exhaust emissions and other severe negative community health impacts.
  • WD will blight homes, land, parkland and waterways and cause worse truck problems in local streets.
  • WD denies western suburbs residents’ proper public transport services.
  • WD shifts freight from freight trains to monstrous road trucks and worsens road traffic congestion and trauma.
  • There is a lack of governance and objectivity to ensure that private sector profiteering is not in conflict with the public good.

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