Tuesday 8 December 2015
As the CFMEU and the United Firefighters Union line Melbourne’s streets, block traffic and waste police resources, even the least cynical person could not be fooled by the obvious timing of Daniel Andrews’ announcement on the Western Distributor.
The Western Distributor, which replaced the scrapped West Gate Distributor that Daniel Andrews took to the election, is a pale imitation of the Western section of the East West Link project, and will deliver far fewer benefits.
The claimed “immediate”20 minute saving on the Monash Freeway will not be delivered for another seven years, and the 6,000 trucks that will be removed from the West Gate Bridge is a mere 3 percent of the 200,000 vehicles that used the Bridge each day. By comparison the East West Link would have provided capacity for 100,000 vehicles a day, allowing for a 50 percent reduction to Bridge traffic.
Like all of Daniel Andrews’ announcements on major projects, this one comes with an invoice to the Federal Government. After throwing over $800 million away by scrapping the East West Link contract, Daniel Andrews has some gall in asking the Federal Government for more money.
Reports that Daniel Andrews won’t be sending this proposal to Infrastructure Victoria are very concerning and need to be clarified by the government urgently. It is also concerning that local residents do not know the exact alignment of the new proposal and how it will affect their neighbourhood.
Extending Transurban’s tolling contracts by 10 to 12 years means that the cost of this project will be with Victorian motorists for decades, with motorists’ frustrations continuing indefinitely.