2014 Victorian State Election – Liberal Victoria

Liberal Party

Liberal Victoria:

Relationship with MTAG: MTAG has a somewhat distant relationship with Liberal Victoria.Repeated requests to meet with transport minister Terry Mulder have been unsuccessful.

On 8 May 2013, the Napthine government scrapped the previous government’s Truck Action Plan , which included a truck bypass for the inner west consisting of new on/off ramps from the Westgate freeway. Dr Napthine claimed at the time that the planned East West link made the Truck Action Plan obsolete

The Napthine government’s transport plan priority is to build the East West link, a new freeway system linking the Eastern freeway with the Western Ring Road. The government has recently signed contracts for the eastern section from the Eastern Freeway to CityLink.

The western section of the East West link will link Citylink and the Western Ring road. This road will include a direct link to the port but the final route has not been released. Premier Napthine has stated that this road ‘will be the best thing since sliced bread’ for residents of the inner west. However the community has no idea of how, where or when this project will be constructed, let alone where on /off ramps will be or where the Footscray tunnel will exit.

The government has said that the Western Section will:

  • Reduce trucks on local streets such as Francis Street and Somerville Road by providing a direct freeway link between the Eastern Freeway, the Port of Melbourne and the Western Ring Road
  • Help traffic flow more freely by reducing traffic on local streets
  • Reduce noise and air pollution by providing a freeway option for thousands of trucks that currently travel through local streets of the inner west every day
  • Provide safer local roads by enabling greater separation of cars, pedestrians and cyclists with large trucks

The eastern section is due to start construction in 2015 with an estimated 5 year build. There is currently no start date for the western section and total costs are expected to be up to $17 billion. It is estimated that the complete project will take more than 10 years to construct.

The recently announced curfews for Somerville Road at school crossing times and Moore Street at night are very welcome.  However with truck numbers predicted to double over the next decade, these curfews alone will not go far enough in protecting residents for ten or more years until East West Link is built.

Statement from MP Andrew Elsbury:

The problem of trucks using local roads in the inner west is a major concern. That is why the Napthine Liberals are committed to dramatically reducing truck traffic by building the full East West Link, with a direct entry to the Port of Melbourne.
Unlike other parties who hold policies that will lead to more trucks and gridlock traffic on our streets.  The direct connection to the Port and the connecting of the Western Ring Road,  Tullamarine Freeway and Eastern Freeway East West Link offers is the only practical long term  solution to trucks on our streets.
The Napthine government is also being proactive by introducing truck curfews such as the recently announced curfew on Somerville Road, between Geelong Road and High Street (sic – MTAG assumes this should in fact refer to Hyde Street) during morning and afternoon school peak periods, night time curfew on Moore Street as well as the introduction of red-light/speed cameras and a reduced speed limit on Francis Street.
Only the Napthine Liberals are serious about ridding our residential streets of truck traffic as only the Napthine Liberals have a practical plan.