Turnbull government derails call to reallocate East West Link money to public transport
The Turnbull government has voted down a motion in the Senate calling on the government to withdraw the allocation of federal funding set aside for the East West toll road and to reallocate this funding to public transport, including the Melbourne Metro Rail project.
“Melburnians have suffered from poor public transport services for too long,” said the Australian Greens spokesperson for transport Senator Janet Rice.
“Tony Abbott described last year’s Victorian election as a ‘referendum on the East West Link’ and the public overwhelmingly rejected the project.
“The new Prime Minister has certainly done his best to create an impression he’s an advocate for public transport, yet this week his Environment Minister has proposed a transport plan that is dominated by tollways.
“Now the government has shown its stubborn obsession with the dud East West Link in the Senate.
“The Prime Minister must back up his train selfies with a real commitment of federal funding of Melbourne’s public transport system, including Melbourne Metro Rail.”
To move that the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) Australia suffered a severe underfunding of public transport under the Abbott Government,
(ii) the former Prime Minister, Mr Abbott, labelled the 2014 Victorian election as a ‘referendum on the East West Link’, and that there was a change of government in Victoria because of that election, and
(iii) the Turnbull Government has this week labelled the East West Link toll road as ‘indispensable and inevitable’, and included it in a publicly-released list of their priority infrastructure projects for Victoria; and
(b) calls on the Government to withdraw the allocation of federal funding set aside for East West Link and to reallocate this funding to the Melbourne Metro Rail project.