The Liberals and the Greens have today suspended construction on the West Gate Tunnel, throwing the Andrews Labor Government’s truck bans into limbo.
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.
As a result of this reckless parliamentary manoeuvre, construction work has been suspended at both the Northern Portal Site – where work is underway ahead of Tunnel Boring Machines being launched – and on the West Gate Freeway, which will be widened to 12 lanes.
Building the West Gate Tunnel project means the Government can ban trucks day and night on Francis Street and Somerville Road in Yarraville, Buckley Street and Moore Street in Footscray, Blackshaws Road in Altona North and Hudsons Road in Spotswood. Without the project, truck bans are not possible.
In a media release issued earlier this week, the Maribyrnong Truck Action Group (MTAG) hit out at the Greens stating “MTAG is bitterly disappointed at their decision to join with the Coalition to block parliamentary planning approvals for the West Gate Tunnel Project.”
“That the Greens are now joining with the Liberals to block this real chance of getting trucks off our streets leaves us feeling completely abandoned,” the MTAG release reads
They join the Business Council of Australia, the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, RACV and other peak bodies condemning the actions of the Liberal-Green coalition.
The West Gate Tunnel project will take more than 9,000 trucks per day off residential streets in the inner west. It will also create more than 6,000 jobs, including 500 opportunities for apprentices, trainees and cadets.
The Labor Government will give certainty to the 800 workers thrown in to limbo by the Liberal-Green decision, reissuing planning approval for this vital project by tomorrow allowing work to recommence.
Quote attributable to Minster for Roads Luke Donnellan
“Without the West Gate Tunnel to provide a dedicated route to the Port of Melbourne, there can be no truck bans – the Greens have teamed up with the Liberals to tell people in the inner west to get trucked.”
Quote attributable to Member for Footscray Marsha Thompson
“This is not only an unprecedented act of economic vandalism that puts thousands of jobs at risk – it deprives the people of the inner west the parks, public open spaces, community facilities and action on air quality that this project will deliver.”
Quote attributable to Member for Williamstown Wade Noonan
“We need trucks off our residential streets now – the Greens have shown their true colours today, voting against the 24/7 truck bans our community has fought for.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020