Community Forum – Toxic Toll Road, Westgate Tunnel Won’t Work

April 23, 2017

A community forum is being held by a number of groups that do not support the view that the tunnel is potentially a major solution to the truck issue in the inner west. The forum is being put on by IMPA, the Inner Melbourne Planning Alliance Inc which includes groups such as PTUA, TT4e, NMWM and the Spotswood South Kingsville Residents Group.

The Forum features a number of interesting speakers including:

  • Colleen Hartland MLC
  • Dr Tony Morton, PTUA
  • William McDougall – UK Transport expert that supported EWL:TRAINS not TOLLS Campaign
  • Royce Millar -The Age, Investigative Journalist
  • Dr Diane Keogh QUT – Air Pollution expert
  • Cr Jackie Fristacky City of Yarra – EWL TRAINS not TOLLS Campaign

Where: RSL at Mary St SPOTSWOOD

When: 6.00pm, 27th April 2017

MTAG welcomes debate that achieves a good outcome for all. Our strong belief is that residents have been paying an unjust and unfair burden as a result of Melbourne’s poor freight infrastructure for close to two decades. While the rest of Melbourne has basically ignored the issue, we have been screaming out for a solution.

The City of Maribyrnong has some of Australia’s worst toxic air pollution as a result of the trucks. Environmental Justice Australia lists Yarraville in Australia’s 12 most toxic hotspots. The Victorian EPA has never recorded higher levels of particle pollution than on Francis Street. Health statistics for our community are appalling with asthma rates 30% above the state average and hospital admissions for kids aged 0-16 years 171% above the Australian average.

MTAG believes the tunnel is the best chance our community has been offered in 20 years, to get the trucks off our residential streets, and onto purpose built road infrastructure. We believe that without this tunnel our community will be stuck with the trucks impacting the health of our children for decades. Is a private toll road the best solution?  Probably not. Did MTAG lobby for a multi billion dollar toll road?  No! But a dedicated freeway into the port is absolutely part of the solution as is freight on rail, cleaner fuels and cleaner trucks. These are all solutions that we have been calling out for many many years.

A dedicated freeway link is desperately needed here.  Direct freeway links are a piece of basic infrastructure that every major port around the world has, regardless of rail freight and regardless of being some of the ‘greenest’ ports in the world.

In 2007 MTAG met with Rod Eddington who at the time was heading the East West Needs Assessment study.  He told MTAG that in all his years of looking at infrastructure around the world he had never seen a country that sends trucks from its major container terminal down residential streets like this.

Take a look at the Port of Rotterdam with direct links to the A15 Motorway, The Port of Long Beach with the 710 Seaside Freeway, Hamburg Port with the E45 Autobahn, the Port of Flexistowe (UK’s biggest container port) direct access to the A14 Motorway, Port of Singapore with direct access to the West Coast highway Viaduct and Busan Port in South Korea has the National Route 50 Highway.

With that said, it’s important that a road project like this is scrutinised and vital that community groups work for the best possible outcomes and solutions.  We encourage people to attend the forum to hear the issues.

 

 

 

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