“The last thing the Coalition wants to do is draw attention to environment policy, because there isn’t one”
Coal generates more election heat
A senior government insider told The Sunday Age there would be no announcements on coal before the election, citing lingering disquiet over the Hazelwood mine fire that forced some residents to leave the area in February and concern it could cost votes in seats such as Morwell, held by Energy Minister Russell Northe, and inner-city Prahran, held by Liberal Clem Newton-Brown.
“The last thing the Coalition wants to do is draw attention to environment policy, because there isn’t one,”
the source said, noting that both the Coalition and Labor appeared to have sidelined green-related issues in the campaign.
Gridlock to hit busy Monash Freeway and Ring Road if Port of Hastings becomes container port
Herald Sun: Gridlock to hit busy Monash Freeway and Ring Road if Port of Hastings becomes container port. Aleks Devic. 26 August 2014
Melbourne’s busiest arterial roads, the Monash Freeway and Ring Road, could grind to a halt with 40,000 extra trucks daily tipped to hit the road. Picture: Jason Edwards
Melbourne’s busiest arterial roads, the Monash Freeway and the Ring Road, could grind to a halt should the Port of Hastings become a second container port.
An extra 40,000 trucks a day would hit the roads, according to two independent reports on the impact on traffic of the new port.
Consultant Deloitte, in leaked road modelling seen by the Herald Sun, has estimated that an extra 30,000-35,000 trucks would take to the Monash on a weekday.
And a Victoria University report says about an extra 4200 trucks a day would hit the Ring Road.
VicRoads says more than 155,000 vehicles, including about 15,000 trucks, now use the Monash and 160,000 vehicles, including 25,000 trucks, the M80 Ring Road each day.
Can the Monash and Ring Road afford to carry 40,000 extra trucks a day? What it do to your commute? Tell us below.
The State Government wants to redevelop the Port of Hastings as a second container port, handling about nine million containers a year — almost double the Port of Melbourne’s capacity.
Labor’s preferred option for the new port is Bay West, between Pt Wilson and Little River, near Avalon Airport.
The Victoria University report, released on Tuesday, says 70 per cent of Victoria’s freight would have to travel across metropolitan Melbourne to the port.
“The current road network, which is already under severe stress, would require substantial improvements and increased capacity,” it says.
It also says the present rail network would not cope with a forecast140 freight trains — one every 10 minutes.
Prepared by the university’s Institute for Supply Chain Logistics, the report said homes would have to be acquired for track widening at Malvern, Toorak, Richmond, Armadale and South Yarra.
Deloitte predicted 30 per cent of containers would be moved at weekend.
Opposition ports spokeswoman Natalie Hutchins said feeder roads would also be gridlocked as people tried to escape Monash truck jams.
“To put all those trucks on the road is unthinkable — you would be at a standstill, and every second vehicle would be a truck,” she said.
Minister for Ports David Hodgett said the Victoria University report was “riddled with inaccuracies”.
“The Port of Hastings … would come online after construction is complete on the full East West Link, which will totally change the movement of freight traffic across Melbourne,” Mr Hodgett said.