3AW: East West protestors vow to continue fight. Posted by: Katie Hodge | 5 March, 2014 – 1:19 PM.
After 18 months of test drilling and 3.91 million taxpayer dollars spent on police resources to manage protestors, preliminary drilling work for the East West Tunnel project is complete.
In a fiery interview with Neil Mitchell, East West protest leader Anthony Main said despite the completion of test drilling, protestors would not go home.
“We are still committed to running this campaign right through to the election and beyond. We are in a good position to try and pressure the Labor party not to go through with this.”
Mr Main said the next step was to target other preliminary works and take their protest caravan on the road.
“There will probably be other preliminary work we will also be targeting. We will be taking our caravan around to metro and regional areas and speak to them about what we think taxpayers’ money should be spent on,” he said.
“There are a whole lot of places around Melbourne and regional Victoria that are crying out for public transport.
“People want a rail line for Mernda, people want the Doncaster rail, people want a rail link out to the airport.
“We want to go in and speak to those people … (in particular) places where the government thinks they might have a bit of support for this tunnel and talk to them about what we think the issues are and where the money could be better spent.
“If this huge infrastructure project goes ahead it’s going to suck money away from every other infrastructure project, particularly transport projects, for years to come.”
Meanwhile, when Neil Mitchell pressed Mr Main on taxpayer dollars “wasted on protests”, blame was firmly laid on the government.
“I think it’s an absolute disgrace and that was a political decision made by the government… I don’t sign the cheques Neil. I’m helping organise community opposition. It’s this government that’s wasted money,” he replied.
“Until this project is scrapped and we get investment in public transport we are going to continue our community campaign.”