Nov 15, 2016

Road funding is laet but welcome

Labor welcomes the Turnbull Government’s decision to copy Labor’s 2016 election commitment and fund road works on O’Herns Road.

During this year’s election campaign Labor released a plan for works on roads in growth areas of outer Melbourne, including Thompsons Road, O’Herns Road, Craigieburn Road and Bridge Inn Road.

Labor’s plan was based on the need for governments to invest in transport infrastructure in areas on the edges of our cities that are undergoing intense growth.

It is important that governments get ahead of the game on roads rather than responding retrospectively to problems like traffic congestion.

Pressure from the local community, residents and Federal Labor demonstrated a clear and pressing need for the O’Herns road interchange project.

While the Turnbull Government offered no investment during the election campaign, it is good that it has now agreed to invest in O’Herns Road.

The decision followed talks with the Victorian State Government on the allocation of $1.5 billion Commonwealth funding it withheld after the cancellation its flawed East-West Link project, which would have returned a paltry 45 cents in public benefit for every dollar invested.

All levels of governments must focus on delivering the railway lines and roads that serve new communities and address traffic congestion, which is eroding our quality of life and reducing productivity.

Infrastructure Australia has warned that unless governments act now, traffic congestion will cost the nation $53 billion a year in lost productivity by 2031