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The Liberals and the Greens have today suspended construction on the West Gate Tunnel, throwing the jobs of 800 Victorians 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.
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.
Victorian industry, including the Victorian Chamber, the Victorian Transport Association, the Urban Development Institute, and G21 Geelong have repeatedly called on the Liberals and Greens not to take this reckless step.
This week the Wyndham Council joined the chorus of calls for the Greens and the Liberals to get out of the way of this urgently needed project.
“On behalf of our residents – we are calling on common sense to prevail and for this project to be expediated. Let’s not let politics get in the way of what our community really needs,” the council said in a media release.
The Liberals and the Greens have ignored community and industry pleas, and stopped the project in its tracks.
Over the last two and a half years, the West Gate Tunnel project went through the most comprehensive planning approval process ever conducted for a Victorian road project.
Cancelling planning approval for a major project already under construction is unprecedented in Victorian history.
The West Gate Tunnel project will cut 20 minutes travel time from the western suburbs, Geelong and Ballarat. It will also create more than 6,000 jobs, including 500 opportunities for apprentices, trainees and cadets.
The Andrews Labor Government will give certainty to the 800 families thrown in to limbo by the Liberal-Green decision, reissuing planning approval for this vital project by tomorrow allowing work to recommence.
Quotes attributable to Minster for Roads Luke Donnellan
“The Liberals and Greens have teamed up to tell people in the west to get trucked.”
“Cancelling the planning approval now – for a major project already under construction – is unprecedented and puts thousands of jobs, an alternative to the West Gate Bridge, and truck bans in the inner west at risk.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Western Metropolitan Region Cesar Melhem
“The Liberals did nothing for four years – now they oppose every major project that is currently providing jobs for Victorians.”
“Matthew Guy should sit down with the families of the 800 people already working on this project and explain why he is letting David Davis try to do them out of a job.”
This article first appeared on www.premier.vic.gov.au
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