All western suburban Legislative Assembly Members of State Parliament have joined together in a common call for the Baillieu Government to recognise the growth and evident transport needs to their communities in the 2012/13 State Budget, from the Westgate to Werribee and Diggers Rest to Derrimut.

With the fastest growing LGA in the nation, Melbourne’s west continues to attract an ever greater share of Victoria’s population growth. Estimated population is set to grow from 730,000 people in 2006 to 1.08 million in 2031.

Melbourne is a city with a distinct East-West physical, demographic and infrastructure imbalance. The Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers currently limit the number of river crossings for road and rail traffic.

The Baillieu Government must meet the pressing needs of this growing community and invest in vital transport infrastructure,” said Tarneit MP and Opposition Infrastructure spokesman Tim Pallas.

“It is apparent that Melbourne’s west must be better connected with the rest of Melbourne, thus reducing the over reliance on the Westgate Bridge,” said Mr Pallas.

The Government must proceed with the truck action plan that the Brumby Government committed $40 million to preliminary works. The Baillieu Government’s halting of work and re-allocation of these funds in early 2011 has meant that strategies to reduce truck traffic on residential streets in Melbourne’s inner west and to improve freight access from the West to the Port of Melbourne have ceased. It is important that the Baillieu Government recommence this project which they stalled.

The State Budget must fund solutions to redirect thousands of trucks away from residential streets in the inner-west,” said Wade Noonan, Member for Williamstown.

The Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel between Dynon in the west and Domain would benefit the whole metropolitan rail network and would create more rail capacity on the Craigieburn, Sydenham, Werribee, Williamstown and Upfield lines. This vital project would better link the people of the western suburbs to education and job opportunities in precincts around Parkville and St. Kilda.

Outer western suburban metropolitan arterial roads grade separations (in particular Main Rd, St. Albans) and safety improvements need to be the subject of a considered and continuing rollout and development. With many western suburban roads at or over capacity and with high volumes of freight activity these upgrades will be critical to the amenity and safety of the community. The Baillieu Government invested on $4.8million in new arterial road spending on metro Melbourne and the poverty of investment is hurting our communities.

“The Melton Highway is the highest priority for the Melton township to eliminate the dangerous dip and single lane road in the fastest growing Australian region so no further accidents and deaths occur in the future,” said Melton MP, Don Nardella.

“The Government needs to invest in the duplicationof the Melton Hwy and the upgrade of the Kings Road and Taylors Road intersection in Delahey,” said Natalie Hutchins, Member for Keilor.

Prior to the last election, the Liberal Party promised to “invest in the West” and to
“fix the problems.” After an inauspicious start with broken promises and Western Suburban transport projects de-prioritised (eg. Hoppers Crossing premium station) or halted (eg. Truck Action Plan).

This budget presents an opportunity for Ted Baillieu to start to meet the expectations
he so confidently aspired before the last election

“Having failed to provide a single dollar for roads projects or an additional bus servicet to assist residents across the Altona electorate in last year’s budget, demand and expectations are very high this year. The government must act,” Member for Altona Jill Hennessy said.

Investment in transport infrastructure creates jobs and communities. With joblessness in
the electorates Derrimut(11.1%), Footscray (8.2%), Tarneit (7.34%), Altona (7.17%) and Kororoit (7.1%) all in the top ten highest areas for unemployment in Victoria, the Baillieu Government must develop a plan that will create employment, grow the growth communities and get moving with the business of keeping Victorians moving:

1)    Second River Crossing

2)   Proposed Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel

3)   Truck Action Plan

4)   Electrification of rail services to Melton

5)    Western Intermodal Freight Terminal

6)    Outer Metropolitan Roads Investment

“The Liberal Government is back to its old tricks. It has dumped the Caroline Springs Station project. Caroline Springs residents deserve this station as promised, funded and budgeted for by the former Labor Government. This Liberal Government has chosen to ignore the Western suburbs and its own department’s priority list in order to pork-barrel and please its constituency in the leafy suburb of Brighton, which sits at 223 3 on the Department of Transport priority list, ahead of St Albans level crossing which sits at number,” said Kororoit MP, Marlene Kairouz.

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