Posted on 13. Nov, 2010 in Election Media Release, News

When Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu announces his plan to build a multi-billion-dollar road tunnel under Melbourne’s inner city suburbs, he must come clean on where the money will come from.

Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas and Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula today called on the Opposition to show where the money will come from for its plan for an $8-10 billion tunnel from the end of the Eastern Freeway.

“Mr Baillieu is taking Victorians for a ride. Just like Tony Abbott, he is refusing to have his election promises costed by the independent Victorian Treasury,” Mr Pallas said.

“If Mr Baillieu announces this $8-10 billion project – as we suspect he will – it will be announcing the most expensive toll in Australia: $30 a trip.

“This project will mean cars pouring into residential streets in inner city suburbs of Collingwood, Carlton, North Carlton, Fitzroy, North Fitzroy and Parkville.

“It will mean a giant hole in the heart of Royal Park, will impact wetlands, and put tunnel stacks and freeway ramps in Melbourne’s inner suburbs.”

Mr Pakula said Mr Baillieu could not say where the money was coming from and was jeopardising vital public transport projects.

“Mr Baillieu is hiding a massive funding black hole – and he will slug Victorians and cut services to pay for it. These massive uncosted projects are a major risk to our State Budget, our AAA credit rating and our economy,” he said.

“The tunnel under the cemetery is not part of our 12-year transport plan and will not be part of Labor’s election policy.  Our priority for the inner city is the Metro Rail Tunnel, with five new train stations delivering capacity to carry another 12,000 rail passenger every hour.

“Mr Baillieu must tell Victorians how he will pay for this new major road tunnel as well build rail lines to Rowville and Doncaster.”

Speaking on ABC Radio last month Mr Baillieu said:

“Yes, there has to be a second crossing… But what’s missing there is the critical link and that’s the connection between that part of the link (WestLink) – which, in part goes into the Docklands – and the end of the Eastern Freeway. And, if we’re going to do something useful for Melbourne, that’s where it has got to happen.” – Ted Baillieu, ABC Radio (25 October, 2010)

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