Sunday, May 25, 2008

Heat, not light, at the end of the tunnel

DIVISIONS within the Victorian Labor Party over Sir Rod Eddington's east-west tunnel proposals have put pressure on the State Government to delay its response.

Some elements of the party want instead a bigger review of Melbourne's wider transport woes.

Party members at yesterday's state conference endorsed a motion that called on the Government to ban "any new major transport projects" — such as the road and rail tunnels that Sir Rod has proposed — until the preparation of a "metropolitan transport action plan".

The motion sparked passionate debate among senior federal Labor MPs, with Kelvin Thomson, whose electorate includes Brunswick and Coburg, saying the plan would increase greenhouse gases, reduce the liveability of Melbourne and suck money out of infrastructure projects for the next 20 years.

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