The public forum at Northcote Town Hall was a fearless and frank examination of issues surrounding the contentious East West Link, from the reasons behind the hurried push towards commencing the project, sovereign debt, PPP investment, lack of funding for overdue PT projects, need for infrastructure improvements in Darebins growth corridors, concerns about financial burdens upon families, the lack of professionalism and the project not being about transport at all, but PPP investors looking for project with a huge return on investment.
Panellists included Kenneth Davidson from The Age Newspaper, Professor Graham Currie from Monash University and Cr Jackie Fristacky, Mayor of Yarra. The forum was chaired by Councillor Tom Melican from the City of Banyule, who is also the Chair of the Metropolitan Transport Forum. Cr Trent McCarthy represented Darebin Mayor Cr Tim Laurence who was unfortunately too ill to attend.
Earlier, Darebin Mayor Cr Tim Laurence said Darebin Council had joined City of Yarra to support the Trains Not Toll Roads campaign, which calls on the State Government to prioritise the Metropolitan Rail project over the East-West Link project. “The Wrong Way Go Back campaign also calls for State Government to prioritise the west section of the East West Link as without the western link, the number of trucks on inner western suburb roads will continue to grow,” Cr Laurence said.