Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Doubt on homes in road plan

Brad Ryan

LOCAL state MPs have ducked questions about home acquisitions as the State Government considers whether to act on Sir Rod Eddington's transport report.

After a call for public comment on the proposals, the Government has more than 2000 submissions to sort.

Most debate has centred on the proposed 18km road tunnel linking the West with the Eastern Freeway, with many submissions from individuals lobbying to protect homes and parks.

In a joint submission, state Labor MPs Wade Noonan (Williamstown) and Marsha Thomson (Footscray) pledged in-principle support for the tunnel.

Of the two tunnel options in the report, the MPs said they preferred a tunnel under Footscray connecting the port area to Geelong and Sunshine roads, rather than a raised road to the West Gate Freeway.

The Eddington Report says "property acquisitions would be required" if either road-tunnel option was adopted, but both MPs said it was too early to discuss this.

"We're terribly mindful of that and would consult heavily with communities that could be affected," Mr Noonan said.

Federal Labor MPs Nicola Roxon (Gellibrand), Bill Shorten (Maribyrnong), Julia Gillard (Lalor) and Brendan O'Connor (Gorton) also jointly supported the tunnel, which shares some identical text with the Thomson-Noonan submission.

"As the EWLNA report stresses, the consequences of 'doing nothing' are negative and far-reaching," both submissions identically state.

The Government is expected to announce its decision on the report in November.

Read the original article at HobsonBayLeader.com.au

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