Denis Napthine and Daniel Andrews go head-to-head in marginal Melbourne seat

Ninemsn: Denis Napthine and Daniel Andrews go head-to-head in marginal Melbourne seat. Leith Marshall. 20 November 2014

Denis Napthine and Daniel Andrews at the debate in Frankston. (AAP)

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine is refusing to reveal the full cost of the East West Link, but those attending last night’s leaders debate did not appear to care.

Dr Napthine and Labor leader Daniel Andrews were battling it out at a public debate in the marginal seat of Frankston when Mr Andrews attempted to make a point about the full cost of the tunnel.

“Do you want to know the true cost of this tunnel ladies and gentlemen?” Mr Andrews asked.

“No,” the crowd replied.

The Victorian coalition will not reveal how much the East West Link will cost Victorian taxpayers each year. (9NEWS)

The audience at last night’s leaders debate was made up of 100 voters in Frankston, the seat held by rebel Liberal MP turned independent, Geoff Shaw.

Mr Andrews said removing 50 level crossings across Melbourne was more important that connecting freeways to improve freight options.

Dr Napthine said stage one of the East West Link road tunnel would relieve congestion and improve freight around Melbourne at a cost of $6.8 billion.

Both leaders also promised to deliver their election promises without introducing new taxes or increasing existing ones.

Mr Andrews said a Labor government would improve response times from paramedics and reopen TAFE campuses, and would do so through careful management of the budget.

“Higher taxation will not fix those (problems),” Mr Andrews said.

Dr Napthine also guaranteed he would not increase fees, taxes or levies if the coalition is re-elected on November 29.

He reminded the crowd of the coalition’s record with TAFE and private vocational training, where the budget increased from $800 million in 2010 to $1.2 billion in 2014.

“At the same time the enrolments in vocational education and training, across the private providers and the TAFE sector, have gone up by 51 percent,” Dr Napthine said.

Both party leaders said laws relating to medicinal cannabis need to be pursued.

At the end of the debate, the crowd declared Mr Andrews the winner on 39 votes, compared with Dr Napthine on 38 votes.

Twenty-three voters remained undecided.

© 2014


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