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Monday, 16 June 2003
Page: 16381

Mr BARRESI (1:52 PM) —This morning the Leader of the Opposition, in claiming victory, reinforced his desire to talk policy—to debate the policy issues that matter to the people. In the eastern suburbs of Melbourne—a region the Leader of the Opposition will be well familiar with—there is one overriding policy area of interest: Scoresby and roads. Last Tuesday a public meeting at the Karralyka Convention Centre, Ringwood, organised by my colleague the member for Casey and me, was attended by over 600 angry people. The question was often asked but never answered: what will federal Labor do with Scoresby? The people in my electorate are still waiting for the Leader of the Opposition to declare whether or not he fully backs the Bracks government's betrayal in tolling the Scoresby Freeway, or whether he fully backs the honouring of a contractual commitment between the Victorian and the federal governments. The coalition has committed $445 million for a Scoresby toll-free road. What will federal Labor do with this $445 million? Will it insist it be spent on the Scoresby or will it divert it to other parts of the state? Where is federal Labor on this vital policy area? Are we once again led to believe that Labor is a policy-free zone on the one issue that matters to the people in Melbourne's east and south-eastern suburbs, an area partly covered by the member for Hotham's own electorate?