East west link protesters give government list of demands

The Melbourne Times: East west link protesters give government list of demands. Georgie Botto. 17 October 2014

Greg Barber addresses protesters. Photo: Scott McNaughtonProtesters deliver their message on the steps of Parliament House.

More than 60 people gathered on the steps of Parliament House on Thursday to protest the east west link and to discuss the future of public transport in Victoria.

Protectors of Public Lands Victoria, representing a coalition of more than 80 environment, heritage, community and animal welfare groups, organised the rally.

The group presented a list of demands to the government in the form of a public transport charter on the last day of parliament before the November 29 election.

PPL Vic secretary Julianne Bell said the charter was critical for the “number one election issue”; public transport.

“PPL Vic prepared a charter for public transport detailing what an incoming government has to do,” she said.

“The first two demands in the charter are to develop heavy rail to under serviced and unserviced areas of Doncaster, Airport, Rowville and Mernda, and to abandon the East-West Link as it is completely unacceptable to the public.”

Ms Bell said people at the rally were representing “thousands of people”.

“The minute they start tunnelling there is going to be trouble,” she said.

Speakers at the rally included Brian Tee, Shadow Minister for Planning Infrastructure and Projects, Greg Barber, leader of the Greens, and Mayors of Yarra and Moreland, Jackie Fristacky and Lambros Tapinos.

The rally took place on the back of Moonee Valley Council voting to launch legal action against the east west link, joining Yarra and Moreland councils.

Ms Bell said the scale of local council objection, shown by the three councils, to a government project was “absolutely unprecedented”.

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