Moreland joins Opposition

From The Melbourne Times East-west link: Moreland joins Yarra in opposition

Moreland Council has firmed up its position on the east-west link, releasing a statement on Thursday afternoon declaring its opposition to the controversial toll road. Mayor Oscar Yildiz said the council had thrown its support behind neighbouring Yarra Council, which has been active in campaigning against the 18-kilometre project that will connect the Tullamarine and Eastern freeways.

The first stage of the road, expected to start late next year, is a $6 to $8 billion tunnel from the Eastern Freeway to CityLink.

But Mr Yildiz said it was the “wrong solution” to Melbourne’s transport problems and said he would write to Planning Minister Matthew Guy to express the council’s views.

“We’ve had a long-standing policy position for providing better public transport solutions that is at odds with spending more money on new road tollways,” Mr Yildiz said.

In Moreland, the proposed toll road would affect the Capital City Trail, the Moonee Ponds Creek and Holbrook Reserve in Brunswick.

Mr Yildiz said it was vital that local governments voiced concerns about major infrastructure projects and proposed alternatives that were more in line with community expectations.

“We will be supporting the City of Yarra and groups like the Melbourne Transport Forum because they too see projects like the east-west link as the wrong solution to Melbourne’s transport issues,” he said.

Yarra Council last week refused to authorise test drilling for the east-west link in local streets despite pressure from the state government to approve it.

Mr Yildiz said: “Now is the time to be investing in creating a bigger and more sustainable public transport system rather than continue the reliance on cars.”