The Age: Libs ramp up priority for freeway

The Age: Libs ramp up priority for freeway (November 17, 2011)
Reid Sexton and Clay Lucas.

A controversial freeway through inner Melbourne and a new underground rail line have again topped the state’s wish list for funding from Canberra, with the Baillieu government saying it wants to proceed with a series of major transport projects first proposed by Labor.

The government today will unveil its submission to the federal government’s advisory body Infrastructure Australia. It marks the first release of the Coalition’s transport proposals since coming to office last November.

However, the submission does not say when any of the projects detailed would be built, or what they would ultimately cost. Premier Ted Baillieu said yesterday he did not want to make these predictions until more planning had been done.

The government has backed an 18-kilometre ”inner urban freeway” that would link the Eastern Freeway in Clifton Hill to the Western Ring Road in Sunshine. The freeway would travel via CityLink and the Port of Melbourne. It is based on a plan put forward by Sir Rod Eddington in 2008 in a report for the Brumby government. Sir Rod is now chairman of Infrastructure Australia.

This freeway plan was partially adopted by Mr Brumby’s government later in 2008, when it announced plans for WestLink, a $2.5 billion tunnel linking the inner west to the port. Continue Reading…

The Age: $4m Hoddle Street plan shelved – 21 March 2011

The Age: $4m Hoddle Street plan shelved – 21 March 2011

A report into how to fix Hoddle Street’s traffic problems, commissioned by the Brumby government at a cost to taxpayers of almost $4 million, will be shelved.

The Baillieu government will this year begin planning work on a railway line to Doncaster, first promised by conservative Premier Henry Bolte in 1969.

Premier Ted Baillieu has promised the railway line will be built along the Eastern Freeway’s median strip, with an expected impact on the amount of traffic along the connecting Hoddle Street.

As a result, a $3.7 million Hoddle Street study by engineers URS Australia, commissioned last February by the former government, will now not make any recommendations.

VicRoads’ director of the Hoddle Street study project, Agnelo Duarte, said the study team had “developed a number of preliminary broad solutions”.

But recommendations for major infrastructure works, originally promised by the former government to come out of the study, will now not be made. Continue Reading…