Tony Abbott, Leader of the Federal Opposition, held a live joint press conference with Terry Mulder, Minister and Ken Mathers, the CEO for the Linking Melbourne Authority, on ABC News 24 on the 4 September 2012. He affirmed that an Abbott Government, if elected, will fund the $1.5 billion East West Road Link. All parties spoke to need and urgency of this project for Victoria.
Terry Mulder thanked Mr. Abbott for his commitment to the project and summarized the state governments needs and plans as follows.
“As you would be aware, Tony has given a commitment to the East West Link of $1.5 billion with $500 million of that to be released within the first 18 months of an Abbott federal government. That would enable the Victorian Government to proceed with the project. We could carry on with the statutory planning processes, we could start compulsory land acquisitions and we could do some of the initial infrastructure works that are vital to this project.”
The federal government, the Gillard Government just don’t get it. We put up a submission to Infrastructure Australia for $40 million to help us proceed with the business case and with some of the statutory planning and we got knocked back by the Gillard Government. To give you an understanding of what this road means to Melbourne, we’ve got somewhere in the order at the moment of about 160,000 vehicles going across the Westgate Bridge… This project is not about if, it’s about when… It’s not just a road safety issue, it’s about our productivity, and it’s about the reputation of Melbourne going forward.”
The standard arguments of economic benefit, employment and development were again reiterated. As we know all of these benefits are equally attainable through the construction of rail, specifically the Doncaster Rail. And, remember that compulsory acquisitions means the loss of many homes, family stress and dislocation and the loss of important community links and educational facilities and social assets.
The media release and transcript are avail on-line – after reading the transcript please return to Ycat to comment. Your comments are welcomed and they are an important contribution in the media debate.
For the media release go to: http://tonyabbott.com.au/News/tabid/94/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/8879/Joint-Press-Release-with-The-Hon-Terry-Mulder-MP-Victorian-Minister-for-Public-Transport.aspx
For information on the East West Link geotechnical drilling and a map of the drilling sites go to: www.linkingmelbourne.vic.gov.au or
To view the drilling video go to: www.youtube.com/linkingmelb