Western Distributor doesn’t stack up: Senate Estimates

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
  • Senior Infrastructure officials raise serious doubts about Western Distributor at federal estimates
  • Commonwealth assessment of the business case for project questions whether it will fix congestion issues
  • Andrews government refuses to hand over independent assessments to Commonwealth and public

The case for Premier Daniel Andrews’ Western Distributor project have taken another major hit with senate estimates hearings raising serious concerns with the project.

‘Both the business case and the social license for the Western Distributor project in its current form is in tatters,’ said Western Metropolitan MLC Colleen Hartland.

‘Now we know why Premier Andrews and Transurban have been so secretive about the project with both the federal government and the public.

‘Senate estimates hearings in Canberra have revealed that the federal government’s Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has been asking for independent peer reviewed documents to assist with their assessment of the merits of the massive $5.5 billion toll road, but the Andrews government has refused to hand them over.

‘On the basis of the data available to the federal department, their assessment raises serious concerns whether the Western Distributor will ease traffic congestion or whether it’s a long term solution to Melbourne’s truck problems in the inner west.

‘On that basis the Commonwealth has indicated it will not fund the road, and neither should it, in its current form.

‘It’s an alarming assessment of the Western Distributor project and an appalling lack of transparency by the Andrews Government and Transurban. ‘It’s disgraceful that the government forced me to go to VCAT this month, in order to obtain critical information so that the public can make their own informed judgement about the project.

For further comment please contact Alistair Perkins: 0425 792 532

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