The East West Tunnel is the wrong priority – Kelvin Thomson MP Supports Doncaster Rail and Public Transport Infrastructure

Yesterday, (Ycat-List News, 5 July 2012) circulated several media releases, including one from Kelvin Thomson MP, accompaigned by generalsised notes asking PMs to state their position clearly on the proposed East West Toll Road and/or Tunnel and Doncaster Rail.

To clarify Kelvin Thomson MP supports public transport infrastructure and specifically the Doncaster Rail down the eastern freeway.  Ycat apologises if our notes could be construed as implying that he does not support the Doncaster Rail.

Ycat also apologises for any mis-understanding that has arisen from this news item and hereby prints a  correction/retraction acknowledging that Kelvin Thomson MP fully supports the community in their fight for the Doncaster Rail and public Transport Infrastructure.

 Freda Watkin (Ycat)

Media Release: Rail not Road – East West Tunnel is wrong priority  – Kelvin Thomson MP, Federal Member for Wills, June 2012

Tomorrow we are introducing a carbon price.  The whole point of doing this is to reduce our carbon emissions.  One of the greatest challenges facing the 21st century is the challenge of climate change.  We cannot tackle climate change by building more roads.  By all means let us build transport infrastructure- let’s be a nation of builders- but let it be public transport infrastructure. We cannot build our way out of congestion. We have been trying it for years and it does not work.

The cost of this project was said two years ago to be $10 billion. Now it is said to be $5 billion, with the Tony Abbott proposed contribution of $1.5 billion. You know what will happen – motorists will have to pay tolls to use it.

But whatever the amount of public money involved, the East West Tunnel is the wrong priority. This money should go towards public transport in Melbourne – building a railway line to Doncaster along the Eastern Freeway, building a rail link to Monash University, improving the inner network capacity to take more frequent rail services.

This will not help traffic congestion in Melbourne. For years we have been told that one more freeway would solve Melbourne’s traffic congestion problems. I supported City Link, I supported East Link, I supported the Metropolitan Ring Road, I supported the Craigieburn By-pass. But it never works. As many studies around the world have shown, freeways generate new traffic and new trips.

So it would be better to put public money into public transport. This will do more to help traffic congestion, more to contain carbon emissions, and more to help people who don’t drive cars, for example younger people, older people and people with disabilities.

 Kelvin Thomson MP, Federal Member for Wills