East West Link protesters picket Liberal gathering

The Age: East West Link protesters picket Liberal gathering, August 28, 2014 Carolyn Webb, Reporter for The Age

Opponents of the East West Link toll road have staged a noisy protest outside a Liberal Party election fundraising event.

Police could not provide information on the event but Toby Dite from the group #tunnelpicket said three protesters were arrested as they tried to block guests from entering the function at the Regent Plaza Ballroom in Collins Street from about 5.30pm on Thursday.

Mr Dite said the arrested protesters were questioned and later released. Politicians, businesspeople, lobbyists and party members were jeered as they entered the function. Protesters chanted “No tunnel, no way, we’re going to fight it all the way”, and “What do we want? Public transport, when do we want it? Now.”

Melbournians blockade Liberal Party fundraiser #auspol #springst #tunnelpicket pic.twitter.com/kkhARvhEP5 — Nick Carson (@nrcars) August 28, 2014

Anti East West Link campaigner Anthony Main said the state government was using the East West Link and other major road projects to leverage donations from big businesses in the lead-up to the November state election. He said companies set to profit from road projects had been asked to spend up to $10,000 to buy a table at a the dinner.

“Napthine refuses to make the business plan for the East West Link public because it would show that the only people set to benefit are the big banks and the major transport and construction firms,” Mr Main said..

“If allowed to go ahead, ordinary people will have their homes, parks and communities destroyed. Taxpayers will shoulder the burden of any losses and motorists will pay via expensive tolls.

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