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Thursday, 20 June 2013
Page: 6499

Melbourne: East West Link

Debate resumed on the motion:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) Melbourne is suffering from a traffic congestion problem across the city and particularly on the Eastern Freeway and the Monash-CityLink-West Gate corridor;

(b) without better infrastructure, this problem will worsen as Melbourne is experiencing the largest growth of all capital cities;

(c) by 2020 it is estimated by the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics that the cost of traffic congestion in Melbourne will be $6.1 billion, double what it is today; and

(d) as well as being an economic cost, congestion impacts on quality of life including time spent with family;

(2) recognises that:

(a) the Victorian Government has proposed the development of an East West Link which would provide an alternate route across the city by connecting the Eastern Freeway with the Western Ring Road;

(b) this East West Link would have significant benefits for Melbourne and Australia, as it would:

   (i) relieve bottle necks on the Eastern, Monash and West Gate Freeways and provide an alternative to the West Gate Bridge;

   (ii) improve freight efficiency by catering for growth at the ports of Melbourne and Hastings and increasing productivity by improving travel time reliability for freight;

   (iii) enhance Victoria's competitive advantage globally, improving the key industry centres and supporting the knowledge precinct in Carlton and Parkville;

   (iv) complete missing links between freeways to alleviate congestion and ensure travel time reliability for families and freight; and

   (v) reduce travel times, particularly for residents in Melbourne's east and west who travel to Melbourne to work; and

(c) the Federal Coalition has committed $1.5 billion towards the construction of the East West Link; and

(3) calls on the Australian Government to match the commitment of the Federal Coalition towards the construction of the East West Link as a vital piece of economic infrastructure for Melbourne.

—And on the amendment moved thereto by Mr Marles, viz.—That the motion be amended to read—

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) Melbourne is suffering from a traffic congestion problem across the city which needs to be addressed in a balanced way;

(b) without better infrastructure, this problem will worsen as Melbourne is experiencing the largest growth of all capital cities;

(c) by 2020 it is estimated by the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics that the cost of traffic congestion in Melbourne will be $6.1 billion, double what it is today; and

(d) as well as being an economic cost, congestion impacts on quality of life including time spent with family;

(2) recognises that:

(a) Infrastructure Australia has been established to ensure a proper process around federal infrastructure investment;

(b) Infrastructure Australia has identified the Melbourne Metro as ready to proceed and that it is a project of national significance; and

(c) the Melbourne Metro will help reduce congestion by taking cars off roads and allow the Melbourne rail network to grow; and

(3) notes that the Victorian Government needs to submit its business case for the East West tunnel to Infrastructure Australia to get it assessed and considered for funding. (Order of the day will be removed from the Notice Paper unless re accorded priority on any of the next 6 sitting Mondays including 24 June 2013. On 29 May 2013, the Selection Committee recommended that this order of the day be voted on.)

Original question, as amended, agreed to.