Melbourne Labor and Greens pledge to scrap East West Link

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Melbourne Leader: Melbourne Labor and Greens pledge to scrap East West Link. 17 November 2014 Nic Price

Melbourne’s Labor and Greens candidates say they will scrap East West Link.

Labor and the Greens will slug it out for the seat of Melbourne on similar transport platforms, with both pledging to scrap the East West Link and pump money into the Melbourne Metro Rail tunnel instead.

The seat has been held by Labor’s Jennifer Kanis since 2012, but the Greens aim to build on Adam Bandt’s federal election win in Melbourne last year by adding their first lower house seat in Victoria.

Greens candidate Ellen Sandell needs a swing of about 1.38 per cent on the 2012 by-election result to claim the seat.

Ms Sandell said voters had seen Mr Bandt advocating for Melbourne at a national level and were ready for the same at state level.

“People are sick of the old parties making promises on things like public transport, health, education and climate change and not delivering,” Ms Sandell said.

But Ms Kanis said only Labor could form the new government that Victoria needed.

“In voting Labor (people) will ensure their vote goes towards that change but also that Melbourne will have a voice and a say within that government,” Ms Kanis said.

The candidates agreed that transport was critical, but Ms Kanis said employment, education and health were also shaping voting intentions.

Greens chances were hurt when the Liberal party announced it would put the party last on its how to vote cards, as it did in 2010.

Liberal candidate Ed Huntingford is flying under the radar and did not return multiple calls and emails from Leader.

Animal Justice Party candidate Kate Elliott said duck shooting, jumps racing and puppy farms should be banned and Voice for the West candidate Tehiya Umer said putting an end to family violence was a priority.

Australian Christians candidate Neville Chisholm said moral standards were slipping and children should be educated to have higher self-esteem.

Meanwhile, Victorian Treasurer Michael O’Brien is the invisible man even among political hopefuls.

Of the five Melbourne candidates who talked to the Leader, only sitting member Ms Kanis could readily name Mr O’Brien as the state’s treasurer, with Ms Sandell naming Mr O’Brien after a long pause and three minor party candidates getting it wrong.

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