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MEDIA RELEASE: 20 APRIL 2018
 
Budget out of touch as community members combine forces against the roads funding priority

 

Community groups across Melbourne have combined to voice shared concerns that the Victorian Government is locking in the wrong projects for Melbourne’s future. Facing projects in every corner of the city from the West Gate Tunnel to the North East Link, the resuscitated East-West Link, and the Mordialloc Freeway, Melburnians are joining forces.
 
Melbourne’s transport budget is out of touch with big bucks handed over for mega roads, while public transport lags.
 
Community member from the north-east, Michelle Giovas, expressed concern over the money committed: "Fast tracking the North-East Link mega project is extremely alarming and unfair. The impact to local residents and the environment will be significant and permanent, as well as all Melburnians struggling to move around the city. It compromises future public transport options for the area."
 
In Melbourne’s south-east, local Alex Breskin added:
The upgrade of the ‘Mordialloc Bypass’ to ‘Mordialloc Freeway’ confirms our fears this road will adversely impact the local environment, and further divide our community. It entrenches car-dependency, when we know this money could be spent on improving public transport in the area. Residents would much rather new solutions such as those proposed by the Rail Future Group with light rail that links our communities rather than an outdated freeway that would go nowhere.
 
These concerns are echoed across the city, with Spotswood resident Rosa McKenna saying:
The West Gate Tunnel project will lock in car dependency from the outer west creating more local traffic congestion and impacts on scarce local open space and community facilities. It hands over planning and operating transport infrastructure to private for-profit companies like Transurban. This doesn't sound like Labor values to me.”
 
Today communities call on politicians to follow through on 2014 election promises: a functioning public transport system, freight off roads, and listening to community concerns about air quality and health impacts. The budget announcements for public transport are overwhelmed by the big dollars being committed to road projects across the city.

The growing coalition of organisations from across the city spans from north to south, eastern to western suburbs.

Coordinating actions on Monday 23 April 2018, one week prior to the budget release, includes Spotswood & South Kingsville Residents Group, Don’t Destroy Millers Road, Hobsons Bay Residents Association, Residents Against the Mordialloc Freeway, Friends of Banyule, Warringal Conservation Society, Moreland Community for Action on Transport, Yarra Community for Action on Transport, Transport For Everyone, Inner Melbourne Planning Alliance, Public Transport Users Association and Friends of the Earth.
 
"Governments continue to fail their communities, with no vision for transport in Melbourne," said Rachel Lynskey, Sustainable Cities spokesperson for Friends of the Earth.

"We continue to see budget commitments to more roads, creating more congestion and pollution, despite all the experts telling us roads won’t solve these problems."

These projects share similar features from fast tracked consultation and funding, failing to reflect proper integrated planning, sham consultation which dismissed evidenced based community health impacts, will burden Victorians with decades of tolls, and are designed to attract traffic!

EVENT DETAILS: 

Media will have an excellent opportunity to capture photos and quotes from a range of community members.
  • What: Photo opportunity at local MP office
  • When: Monday 23 April, 11:00am – 11:30am.
  • Where: 232 Brunswick Street Fitzroy VIC 3065.
  • Media Registration: Contact Rachel Lynskey, Friends of the Earth media liaison, 0481 288 211
ADDITIONAL ACTIONS:
  • Mordialloc: 10.00am-10.30am, 374 Nepean Highway, Chelsea. Contact: Alex Breskin, 0425 168 428
  • Ivanhoe: 10.00am – 10.30am, 56 Beetham Parade, Rosanna. Contact: Michelle Giovas, 0409 179 121
  • Williamstown: 10.00am – 10.30am, 101 Douglas Parade, Williamstown. Contact: Rosa McKenna, 0418 403 303
  • Werribee: 11.00am – 11.30am, 2/56-58 Watton Street, Werribee. Contact: Rosa McKenna, 0418 403 303
 
FOR COMMENT: 
  • Chris Star, Yarra Campaign for Action on Transport, info@ycat.org.au 0490 512 633

Ends.

 
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