Besieged on five fronts, the Government denies reality

Besieged on five fronts, the Government denies reality By Andrew Herington

The Coalition has fallen so deeply in love with the East West Link that they are blind to its faults. The tollway is now dragging down their pitch for re-election, yet they keep promoting it. The LMA Newsletter being letterboxed through inner Melbourne is full of engineering drawings of massive bridges and roads lovingly given such fanciful names as “the Soundwave”, “vertical garden” and the “ribbon motif”. This doesn’t convince the target audience – it enrages them.

Yet, the Coalition Ministers and their engineers believe their own propaganda and see their project as a thing of beauty as well as an economic miracle. They just can’t see what everyone else sees – seven massive freeway viaducts destroying a major park, overpasses metres from resident homes, increased traffic, noise, air pollution and a massive sink hole for scarce capital funds that will prevent major upgrades to public transport for a decade.

Tellingly, they have made no effort to moderate the design of the project or take up any of the Assessment Committee recommendations to lessen the environmental impacts. They love it the way it is – and many of the most recent design changes make the situation worse not better.

The number of jobs to be created has been massively inflated. The CIS dubiously claimed 3,200 temporary construction jobs offset by the permanent loss of 203 existing jobs in properties being demolished. This was stretched to 3,700 for Stage 1, then “6,000 at peak employment” then 7,500. Now it is the basis for a Liberal claim of 200,000 new jobs over 5 years. Continue Reading…

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