Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sunday's rally in many local newspapers

TRANSPORT action groups across the state will rally at Flinders Street Station later this month after reports the State Government will back Sir Rod Eddington’s proposed east-west road tunnel.

The No Freeway for West Footscray group has joined forces with Brimbank Transport Action Group, Royal Park Protection Group, Yarra Campaign Against Tunnel, and the Flemington and Kensington Transport Action Groups to become the Coalition of Transport Action Groups (CTAG).

CTAG is urging residents to wear red and black - to represent the train lines and stations on Melway - and congregate at the Flinders Street Station clocks at noon on Sunday 26 October for a community rally.

The rally will then move to Alexandra Gardens for a picnic and entertainment.

Protesters will be arriving by train to highlight the state’s need for better and more frequent public transport services.

Debbi Woods from the Brimbank Transport Action Group has ordered 800 dust masks to distribute in a demonstration against the “pollution of traffic” the proposed east-west road tunnel would cause.

Anne Parsons, from the No Freeway to West Footscray group, said organisers were expecting a few thousand residents to attend.

The coalition organised the rally after a Herald Sun article last month reported the State Government was looking into building the proposed east-west road tunnel in the West but would delay construction in the eastern suburbs.

The article also said the government was likely to back the Footscray to Caulfield rail tunnel.

Ms Parsons said the coalition was concerned the State Government would do a Band-Aid job to fix transport issues.

“We don’t want it (the road tunnel), period,” she said.

“We’re worried that commuters’ needs and the needs of the new millennium aren’t going to be met.”

Ms Parsons said the State Government was too busy trying to appease voters in marginal seats in the East instead of listening to the concerns of residents in safe Labor seats.

“The blatant disregard and arrogance of this present Government to its constituents in the West is just overwhelming,” she said.

“It’s going to affect all of us because not only will our homes be affected, our lifestyles and our health… will be sitting under a plume of diesel emissions and pollution.”

Representatives from each group met at the Trades Hall last week to finalise details.

Victorian Government spokesperson Michael Sinclair would not answer questions about the State Government’s thoughts on the road or rail tunnel.

Mr Sinclair said the Government’s Victorian Transport Plan, which would be released in November, would “respond to proposals for Melbourne’s east-west corridor in Sir Rod Eddington’s report and other transport priorities across the state”.
Read the original article in

Also articles in Maribyrnong Leader, Sunshine Star, and Williamstown Star

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