Project is not done and dusted

The Age Letters – 11 September 2014

Project is not done and dusted

Ever since the East West Link re-emerged last year, the government has been carrying on as if it were done and dusted – never mind about finalising the route, consulting with affected people and organisations, or gaining comprehensive planning approval. It has announced the preferred bidder but little has actually changed – there is still no final route and planning approval is under a cloud, with a Supreme Court challenge and many of the Planning Minister’s conditions not met. It’s all a ruse to convince Victorians that opposing the tollroad is futile. We’re not that clueless, Premier – given the extent of unresolved issues it is doubtful that any contracts signed in the next few weeks will be binding.

Petra Stock, Carlton North

Ads show contempt for voters

The government is shamelessly running, at taxpayers’ expense, an ad on TV, online and in cinemas aimed at assuring Melburnians it intends spending big on rail when in truth it is planning to plunge the state into such massive expenditure on the EWL that all other significant projects will be sidelined for decades. Worse, it is aiming to sign a contract for the first stage just weeks before the election. As the government has not presented a business case for the EWL, what could be more contemptuous of the public? Labor’s Daniel Andrews could trump this move simply by announcing that Labor will kill the EWL if elected on November 29. If he is to avoid losing half a dozen inner-Melbourne seats he must. Pretending to oppose the link but also pretending Labor would be bound by any undertaking of the government will not wash.

Ian Davidson, Parkville

Get commuters off the roads

Government spokeswoman Larissa Garvin is wrong when she claims investment in public transport alone will not serve the needs of tradies, delivery trucks and mothers (”’Wrong way’ on link road”, 9/9). A first-class public transport system will enable regular commuters the choice of leaving cars at home, thus leaving our freeways and major roads to those who need to use them. It is happening in Perth. A tunnel will not solve Melbourne’s traffic congestion.

Susan Mahar, Fitzroy North

Getting this state moving

Denis Napthine has been a breath of fresh air to the state of Victoria. Major projects have been designed that will greatly relieve traffic congestion. Changes to sentencing laws mean judges will no longer have the option to hand violent offenders suspended sentences. Dangerous level crossings such as the one at St Albans, which Labor left in its electoral heartland for so long, are being removed. The budget has remained strongly in surplus and the state’s AAA credit rating is rock solid. Dr Napthine has won my trust.

Peter Curtis, Werribee South

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