Victorian Government seeks public comment on East-West report

By: Chris Smith


The Victorian Premier, John Brumby, has called for Victorians to have a say on an independent transport report, which recommends

The Victorian Premier, John Brumby, has called for Victorians to have a say on an independent transport report, which recommends major rail and road upgrades to improve east-west travel across Melbourne.

Brumby says the report, by transport expert Sir Rod Eddington contained multi-billion-dollar proposals to improve Melbourne’s transport network.

The Premier announced a 15-week period for members of the public to provide comment on the recommendations in the report. Public submissions and comments will be considered as part of a formal Government response later in the year.

Brumby says the two main recommendations in Sir Rod’s report – Investing in Transport – were: building a 17 km rail tunnel linking Melbourne’s western and south eastern suburbs; and an 18 km road corridor that provides an alternative to the West Gate Bridge.

"Sir Rod Eddington has proposed big projects which he believes will help lock in Melbourne’s economy, liveability and amenity for the future," he says.

"The report requires careful evaluation and consideration. All options are on the table and the Victorian Government will not be ruling anything in or out.

"The key to framing the Government’s response to these proposals is to hear from Victorians who cycle to work; drive across town; and catch trains, trams and buses, because Melbourne’s transport network belongs to the people who use it.

"And we want to hear from the businesses who transport goods across and to and from Melbourne."

Brumby says his Government and the wider community will need to consider some critical questions in evaluating any proposal in the report, including:
  • Whether a project would make Victoria’s economy more productive;
  • Whether it would make communities more liveable;
  • Whether it would make Victoria more sustainable; and
  • How it ranks alongside other Victorian priorities – both in transport and other priority areas.


Brumby says Sir Rod’s report makes it clear Victoria’s success is putting significant strain on the public transport and road networks.

"Victoria is booming. That boom is placing pressure on our transport infrastructure and it is important that the Government deliver short, medium and long-term projects to address congestion," Brumby says.

"This Government has a strong track record in investing in the State’s transport infrastructure. We responded to the challenge of rebuilding neglected roads and rail – and we are responding to the challenge of planning for future demand on our transport system.

"Investing in transport connections and delivering the right solutions for transport between Melbourne’s eastern and western suburbs is vital to our future prosperity."

Sir Rod’s report is the culmination of 12 months of research, with more than 130 public submissions, site visits, and consultation with councils, business, industry and the community.

The report includes two major infrastructure recommendations and a number of other significant initiatives to address transport issues in the east-west corridor:

Key recommendations in the report include:
  • a 17 km rail tunnel linking Melbourne’s western and south eastern suburbs;
  • an 18 km road corridor that provides an alternative to the West Gate Bridge;
  • targeted road improvements to remove truck traffic from local roads in the inner western
    suburbs;
  • a major boost to bus service for Doncaster;
  • Improved cycling connections.

Minister for Roads and Ports, Tim Pallas says that in the meantime, the Government will proceed with its program of road and rail upgrades outlined in Meeting Our Transport Challenges.

"This includes $7.5 billion for rail infrastructure projects including the Clifton Hill duplication, Dandenong Triplication, as well as the purchase of new trains and trams," Pallas says.

"It also includes $1.9 billion on major road projects, which include the Monash-CityLink-West Gate upgrade."

Public submissions are open on the East West report until 15 July, 2008. The report is at www.doi.vic.gov.au/eastwestyoursay and submissions can be made through this website or by post to East-West transport options review, C/- Department of Infrastructure, GPO Box 2797, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000.

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