Greg Barber confirms Greens will build Mernda rail extension

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Whittlesea Leader: Greg Barber confirms Greens will build Mernda rail extension. Katrina Hinschen. 28 August 2014

Yan Yean Greens candidate Daniel Sacchero. Picture: Silvi Glattauer

The Greens are the first party to commit to building the Mernda Rail Extension within the life of the next parliament.

Victorian Greens Leader Greg Barber today confirmed the Mernda Rail Extension, one of two aims of the Access Denied campaign, is a Greens policy commitment to be funded by savings from discontinuation of the unpopular East-West Link.

Greens member for Yan Yean Daniel Sacchero said the Napthine Government has persistently refused to make public the business case for its vastly expensive tunnel to enable trucking companies to move their goods across the city more quickly.

“By contrast, research carried out for the City of Whittlesea has estimated that the Mernda Rail Extension would inject over $80 million a year into the local economy, create approximately 1600 new jobs across the metropolitan area and remove over 11,000 cars off the roads,’’ Mr Sacchero said.

The South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance has welcomed the Greens’ commitment.

“For years our Facebook site, Extend the rail line to Mernda has highlighted in red the major parties’ lack of response to this issue,’’ Alliance spokesman Darren Peters said.

“It will be a pleasure to at last show one party giving the Mernda Extension the green light.”

The Greens claim that there is a strong possibility that they will have the deciding voice in at least one of the Victorian parliamentary chambers after the November State elections.

Abandoning the East-West Toll Road in favour of local public transport improvements, including the Mernda Rail Extension, will be a key demand in any negotiations with parties seeking to form government.

The City of Whittlesea has been contacted for comment.

The State election will be held on Saturday, November 29.

You can support the Access Denied campaign by:

Visiting the campaign website here;

‘Liking’ Extend the rail line to Mernda’s Facebook page here;

Aurora Community Association’s Facebook page here; and

Whittlesea Leader’s Facebook page here.

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