MEDIA RELEASE: WESTGATE TUNNEL TOLL ROAD ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER APPROVED
Environment group Friends of the Earth and community groups across Melbourne's west have expressed outrage this morning in response to the news the Andrews government have signed contracts enabling construction of the Westgate Tunnel Project in early 2018.
"Building the Westgate Tunnel Toll Road is wholly inconsistent with the Andrews government's commitment to action on climate change. The transport emissions from megaroads will blow out any reductions targets. " said Friends of the Earth's Sustainable Cities coordinator Rachel Lynskey.
Melbourne continues investment in roads, at the expense of public transport and a world-class rail network. The community are asking that the government invest in freight on rail to reduce pollution from trucks travelling to the Port of Melbourne.
JOIN US NOW: Sign the petition calling on Premier Daniel Andrews and Treasurer Tim Pallas to stop this toll road http://www.melbournefoe.org.au/no_westgate_tollroad
"This project is not a transport solution for the West. In the best case scenario people would get to the city 3 minutes earlier than on the current Westgate Freeway. What we need is an integrated transport plan prioritising investment in public transport, to give people choices to get out of their cars. That would create 1000s of jobs and actually get Melbourne moving. " said Ms Lynskey.
"What communities are most outraged by is the hypocrisy. This is like the East West Link all over again - Labor have locked us into a contract for a dud project the community doesn't want."
Victorian tax payers will be paying for this toll road for decades through footing the bill for construction or through escalating tolls. The toll road will be run by Transurban, who already make $687 million from Melbourne commuters each year.
For more comment contact: Rachel Lynskey, 0481 288 211