The Liberals and the Greens have today suspended construction on the West Gate Tunnel, throwing 400 jobs for Benalla in to limbo, in an unprecedented act of economic vandalism.
In a move condemned by industry and community groups, Matthew Guy and the Greens today teamed up to manipulate parliamentary powers to revoke planning approval and stop construction on the West Gate Tunnel.
Shamefully, the MPs elected to represent Northern Victoria – Nationals member Luke O’Sullivan and Liberal member Wendy Lovell – refused to speak in the Parliament on this matter and explain to North East Victorian’s why they won’t stand up for country jobs.
As a result of this reckless parliamentary manoeuvre backed by Wendy Lovell and Luke O’Sullivan, construction work has been suspended.
This act of economic vandalism is also supported by the Deputy Leader of the Nationals and Member for Euroa Steph Ryan, who has put politics before the 400 jobs that would be created in her electorate as part of the project.
Benalla will be home to a $60 million factory that will supply precast concrete for major projects including the West Gate Tunnel – but without the project, there will be no precast facility.
The factory, which will be capable of producing up to 1,500 tonnes of concreate every day, will create 400 jobs in what will be a major economic boost for the town, neglected by the Nationals during their time in government.
This reckless parliamentary manoeuvre on a major project under construction is unprecedented in Victorian history.
The Andrews Labor Government will give certainty to the Benalla community, reissuing planning approval for this vital project by tomorrow allowing work to recommence.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan
“The Coalition have put politics before jobs in their reckless move to stop the West Gate Tunnel.
“As a result of this unprecedented move 400 jobs in Benalla are on the line – jobs that Steph Ryan doesn’t care about.”
Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes
“The Nationals have sold out country Victoria to side with their Melbourne Liberal leaders. I know Benalla residents will be outraged by this.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020