Monday, August 18, 2008

Brumby eyes ring road 'missing link' -

Paul Austin
August 18, 2008

PREMIER John Brumby has commissioned taxpayer-funded polling to gauge public reaction to the prospect of the Government building the contentious "missing link" in Melbourne's ring road.

Mr Brumby's department has engaged market research firm I-view to assess voters' views on a range of controversial projects he is considering for inclusion in a multibillion-dollar plan to tackle Melbourne's road and public transport congestion.

The telephone survey asks people their opinion on suggestions that the Metropolitan Ring Road be extended from Greensborough to the EastLink tollway at Ringwood, through some of the city's most environmentally sensitive areas.


Mr Brumby said last month that several groups had been lobbying the Government to include the "missing link" in the transport blueprint.

"But it's a very difficult issue because if you're to build that link it goes through some very sensitive areas of parkland," he said. "And you'd need to look at things like tunnels and so on to preserve the environment."

The RACV, the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Victorian Freight and Logistics Council are among influential lobby groups that hope Mr Brumby announces a plan to complete the ring road as part of his pre-Christmas transport statement.

The I-view survey is also asking people their views on the two main proposals in Sir Rod Eddington's report to the Government: an 18-kilometre road tunnel linking the Eastern Freeway with CityLink and the Ring Road; and a 17-kilometre rail tunnel from Footscray to Caulfield via the CBD and St Kilda Road.

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