Topics: East-West Link, Monash Upgrade
The Commonwealth has a vision and a plan to fix Victoria’s road and rail.
Commuters are sitting in their cars whilst the Premier is sitting on his hands.
We want to give Victoria the future – where people can travel to and from work and in and out of the city in a rapid way.
That means building a big vision.
We want two cross-city tunnels.
A road tunnel – the East-West Link – which obviously has to be built and to which we are utterly committed.
And a rail tunnel.
We want to see that in time, the missing link of the ring-road east of [inaudible] and that over a longer period of time, what has to happen of course is the progressive undergrounding of the rail lines in and out of Melbourne – in return for capturing the value above them, and returning some of that land to the community.
Inevitably we have to have a movement out of the old river ports, and that land to be recovered for the community – for inner urban living.
Immediately though, if East-West Link is on the backburner – and we remain utterly committed to it – we have to take pressure off commuters.
It is time to fix the Monash Freeway.
At the moment Dan has no plan. The Commonwealth does.
Dan has no plan. The Commonwealth does.
Let us sit down together and work on fixing the Monash. Because right now there is a plan.
Infrastructure Australia says the Monash [inaudible] plan is ready to proceed.
It’s the quickest, fastest thing that can be done to take the pressure off commuters, to give Victorians their time back, and to reduce air pollution.
So this is the invitation from the Commonwealth to sit down with the Premier and the Victorian Government.
You haven’t yet sat down yet. How quickly do you want to sit down and talk?
We are happy to meet and talk at any time.
Because Victorians have been forced to sit in their cars, whilst the Premier sits on his hands.
East-West Link could already have been under construction and is on its way to reducing pressure for travellers in and out of the city – on either side of the city.
We remain utterly committed to that.
But until such a time as the State is ready, we can’t be paralysed – we have to go forward.
And right now, let’s fix the Monash.
How much funding would the Commonwealth be willing to give to widen the Monash?
Well we need to work together on this.
And at the moment, Victoria doesn’t have a plan and doesn’t have a proposal. Well, we’re putting one on the table.
So I won’t pre-empt any figures.
But only yesterday we saw the Commonwealth partner with Queensland – and we should be able to partner with Victoria.
This is a plan which is not expensive by road project levels. The figure which has been put on the table by experts is in the vicinity of $200 million.
But it could be part of a broader package in relation to the cross-city tunnel.
It could be part of a broader package in relation to cross-city rail tunnel.
But people in the east and in the south-east need relief. They need a chance to get out of the car park that is the Monash, and into work and into their home.
Is the Monash expansions more important than the Metro Rail do you think?
Look, it’s something that can happen immediately.
Both projects – in the end – are vital and necessary. Both projects for fundamental.
But right now this is the one thing that can happen almost immediately.
Because of the nature of it, where it doesn’t involve heavy construction and heavy disruption, but rapid work – adjusting what’s already there – this can bring genuine, significant, early relief to motorists that are trapped in their cars.
Why do you still support East-West Link?
It’s across the city of Melbourne – which means two cross-city tunnels – one rail, one road.
It’s inevitable. It’s indispensible. We all know that.
But in the meantime there is no plan with Dan. There is a plan from the Commonwealth.
We’re happy to provide the plan, to work with the Victorian Government, to get the Monash moving, and to get commuters out of their cars.
And just finally on a different subject, what do you think of Derryn Hinch running for the Senate next year?
Look, I haven’t heard that. It’s a democracy and as ever, the people will make their choice.
Okay, thank you very much.