Group that formed picket lines in Collingwood against East-West Link to visit Doncaster on Saturday

Manningham Leader: Group that formed picket lines in Collingwood against East-West Link to visit Doncaster on Saturday. Anna Chisholm. April 04, 2014

Anti East-West Link campaigners will take their pro public transport protest to Doncaster on Saturday.

The group will be visiting outer suburban and regional areas to talk about public transport alternatives to the East-West Link for the next three months, finishing with a citywide rally on June 28.

Campaign organiser Anthony Main said Doncaster had been waiting for rail for almost 40 years and hoped their campaigning through the “No East West Tunnel pledge” would help Doncaster win it.

For the last six months the group has formed picket lines at test drilling and testing sites near the mouth of the proposed tunnel at Collingwood and Clifton Hill.

“The work has being called off as a result of our picketing,” he said.

“We want to keep this on the political agenda in the lead up to the state election.

“We will be visiting suburban and regional areas that are crying out for investment in public transport.”

The group is keen to speak to residents who believe the $8 billion for the East-West Link could be better spent.

He said they were calling on Doncaster residents to get active in the campaign and get funding directed to the communities that are starved of public transport options.

“One of the lies is that East-West Link will reduce traffic congestion and experts have come out and said that’s not true,” he said.

“A rail line to Doncaster would remove some 800 vehicles per peak hour train from the road.

“A train line down the Eastern Freeway would reduce traffic congestion.”

The protesters will be linking up with other pro public transport groups to broaden their push for better public transport in Victoria.

Mr Main said jobs created by the East-West link would only be temporary.

“When you invest in public transport you create many more long-term and skilled jobs,” he said.

“You need staff in stations, and to carry out maintenance and repairs.

“A tunnel under Alexandra Parade will create 3200 jobs but they’re only temporary.

“After it’s built, the jobs are gone.”

He said office workers and students needed to use rail to commute from the east into the city.

“We’re not saying everyone needs to get on the train,” he said.

“But for the tradies and people like couriers who do need to use the road — it would give them more space.”

Campaigners will set up at Tunstall Square Shopping Centre on the corner of Doncaster and Tunstall roads at 12pm on Saturday.

Visit the group’s Facebook page for more information.

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