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Melbourne residents are sending a clear message to the state government that money wasted on an east-west toll road will severely impact the city’s ‘liveable’ status and penalise future generation of Melburnians.
From 6.30 pm on Thursday night, hundreds of people are expected to gather at Fitzroy Town Hall for the official launch of the ‘Trains Not Toll Roads’ campaign.
The launch will feature guest speakers including Alannah MacTiernan, Dr Sophie Sturup, Mayor Jackie Fristacky and MC Rod Quantock.
Ms MacTiernan championed the construction of Perth’s 70km Mandurah Rail Line while serving as Western Australia’s Minister for Planning and Infrastructure. The rail line was built at a cost far less per kilometre than the Victorian Government is estimating for rapid rail links in Melbourne. Now Mayor of the City of Vincent in WA, Alannah will be at the meetingto explain how the Mandurah line quickly surpassed patronage expectations and is a model that Melbourne can adopt now.
Dr Sophie Sturup
Dr Sturup has researched the economic arguments for similar toll road projects in Australia and co-wrote this article for the Age last month questioning the wisdom of the east west toll road plan. She believes the state government’s toll road plans are likely to benefit a small group of private interests at the expense of the city’s residents and Victorian taxpayers.
Yarra Mayor Jackie Fristacky
A Yarra Councillor since 2002, Cr Fristacky has keenly followed this issue since the 2008 Eddington Report. Cr Fristacky is leading Yarra City Council’s campaign to greater investment in clean and efficient public transport, over more roads that encourage car use and further congest already clogged local and arterial roads.
The protesters’ message is simple: billions of dollars spent on a tax payer funded toll road is irresponsible and will severely delay progress on major rail projects like the Melbourne Metro Rail and new lines to Doncaster, Rowville and the airport link – projects that would help meet the huge demand for sustainable travel, ease congestion and reduce excessive transport costs for business and the community.
Yarra City Council says it is strongly opposed to the east west toll road and tunnel, which will add to the number of cars already choking at-capacity arterial and local roads.
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