ABC Victoria: Melbourne Metro rail a better deal than East West Link, transport planners say in emails By Jean Edwards. 19 Nov 2014, 12:41pm
Senior Victorian Government transport planners have said in emails they have calculated the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel would be a better deal than the multi-billion-dollar East West Link road project.
The emails, which detailed the so-called benefit-cost ratio, were sent in July 2013 and released to Labor under freedom of information laws.
They showed the planners thought the rail tunnel under the city would return $1.90 for every $1 invested, compared with $1.40 for the road tunnel.
The State Government dumped the Melbourne Metro project in May, in favour of a new rail tunnel called Melbourne Rail Link which would follow a different route, via Fisherman’s Bend.
It should never, ever be a case of saying which one is greater than the other because they are all needed for Melbourne
The Coalition said it would start building the $6–8 billion East West Link this year if it was re-elected.
Public Transport and Roads Minister Terry Mulder said all transport projects, including a rail link to Melbourne airport and the Cranbourne-Pakenham rail upgrade, were needed.
“It should never, ever be a case of saying which one is greater than the other because they are all needed for Melbourne,” he said.
Mr Mulder said the East-West road toll project must be built.
“It’s going to threaten our prosperity as a state and a city if we don’t build it,” he said.
Opposition spokesman James Merlino accused the Premier of ignoring departmental advice.
“Despite report after report showing both the economic and infrastructure benefits of building Melbourne Metro, Denis Napthine continues to ignore the facts,” he said.
“Denis Napthine is clearly not listening to the advice of his own department on the feasibility and demand for public transport investment in Melbourne.”
Mr Merlino said the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel was the most important project for the city and Labor would build it.
The federal advisory body Infrastructure Australia rated Melbourne Metro as “ready to proceed”, but the East West Link as having only “real potential”.