A Referendum on Melbourne’s future
November 24, 2014
A Referendum on Melbourne’s future By Andrew Herington
The Prime Minister has sealed the fate of the controversial East West Link. When Tony Abbott declared the November 29th Victorian election to be a referendum on the project, he gave the winner a mandate – that most precious of things in politics.
If Labor wins, the project is dead. Daniel Andrews’s recent answers have been emphatic. If the Liberals win, it will have the political legitimacy that it has so far lacked. The final hurdle for the project would be whether the planning approval survives each of the three Supreme Court challenges currently underway.
Lend Lease and its consortium partners would still face protracted and well organised community resistance. In the early months, this would focus on sit-ins to prevent the excavation of a huge cutting in the central part of Royal Park – the largest hole ever proposed to be dug in Melbourne.
Denis Napthine has misread the public mood and put all his eggs in one basket, making the tollway the cornerstone of his Government whilst Daniel Andrews has staked his reputation on reversing the hastily signed contracts. The tollroad may turn out to be a very large political hole. Continue Reading…