The Western Distributor has been given the go ahead.
Road infrastructure to service Australia’s busiest port is a crucial element in solving the port truck traffic problem in Melbourne’s inner west, but:
– We need those “extended curfews” to be 24 hour truck bans on all residential streets in the inner west. This is integral to this project addressing port truck traffic in the inner west.
– We need world class filtration on the tunnel emissions to ensure that diesel particulate matter is not concentrated in one area of our community, or neighbouring communities.
– This project is 7 years away from completion, and this campaign is more than 15 years old. We’re not waiting for 22 years to minimise the health impacts of diesel emissions in the inner west. Our doctor visit rate for children’s asthma and related respiratory hospital emissions is 171% of the national average. This is not something the children of the inner west can cope with for another 7 years. We call on the Government to work with the community on a raft of shorter term solutions, to minimise the health impacts. This includes spending the $58 million allocated in the budget to put more freight on rail and remove up to 3,500 trucks per day from our streets.
Transurban have presented a revised “West Gate Option” to the Government for consideration. This sees the tunnel portals return to the centre of the freeway with split entrances (one closer to Geelong, one closer to the city), and the Hyde Street ramps hugging the existing West Gate freeway. The Government and Transurban will enter the community consultation phase over the next few months, to finalise the design of the portals, connections to the port, connections for placarded loads, and city access points.
Some more detail from Transurban can be found here.