Tuesday, 13 October 2015
East West Link
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) Australia suffered a severe underfunding of public transport under the Abbott Government,
(ii) the former Prime Minister, Mr Abbott, labelled the 2014 Victorian election as a 'referendum on the East West Link', and that there was a change of government in Victoria because of that election, and
(iii) the Turnbull Government has this week [11 October to 17 October 2015] labelled the East West Link toll road as 'indispensable and inevitable', and included it in a publicly-released list of their priority infrastructure projects for Victoria; and
(b) calls on the Government to withdraw the allocation of federal funding set aside for East West Link and to reallocate this funding to the Melbourne Metro Rail project.
Solving the east-west transportation dilemma is crucial to transport efficiency in Melbourne and the broader state. While the Victorian Labor government had no qualms destroying 7,000 jobs and wasting hundreds of millions of dollars by cancelling the East West Link project that the federal opposition leader supported, the Turnbull coalition government is keen to get on with building the infrastructure Victorians want and need. All projects of national significance in Victoria will be on the table for consideration when the Victorian government come forward with credible options. But we have to be clear: a one-sided solution to Melbourne's congestion problems is insufficient. The solution needs to solve the full east-west transportation dilemma. Any project submitted for funding consideration together with detailed business cases, including the Western Distributor and Melbourne Metro projects, will be subject to rigorous assessment by the Australian government and Infrastructure Australia.