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Media Release


Another Backflip from Batchelor: Freeway through Yarra Valley back on agenda

The Public Transport Users Association has condemned today's revelation by Transport Minister Peter Batchelor that the State Government supports a new freeway through Eltham and Warrandyte.

PTUA Secretary Vaughan Williams said that Mr Batchelor's pledge to support the RACV's plan Roads to the Future had exploded the fiction that the Government would protect the Yarra Valley "Green Wedge".

Mr Batchelor has recently visited the area assuring local residents and councils that the Government does not support the ring-freeway through the area.

The RACV yesterday released its ten-year plan for road construction, Roads to the Future, which includes a proposed link between the Northern Ring Road at Greensborough and the Eastern (and Scoresby) Freeways at Ringwood at an estimated cost of $500 million. The RACV has acknowledged that Vicroads assisted in the preparation of this plan.

The Herald Sun today reported Mr Batchelor pledging to support the RACV plan.

"For years the promoters of the Scoresby Freeway have been pretending that there were no plans for the final link across the environmentally sensitive Yarra Valley," said Mr Williams

"Todays announcement betrays the Scoresby Freeway for what it is - part of a multi-billion dollar ring freeway around Melbourne which would do Los Angeles proud. The fears of many organisations like the PTUA, so recently dismissed by Mr Batchelor, are about to be vindicated."

"Mr Batchelor is clearly prepared to throw billions of dollars at roads without any justification while at the same time there is no progress on the planning processes for transport that we were promised before the last election."

"Residents and councils in the Yarra Valley have every reason to be concerned by this revelation. It has once again been made perfectly clear that the RACV and Vicroads will never rest until every piece of open space in Melbourne has been asphalted and that Mr Batchelor is their most enthusiastic supporter," concluded Mr Williams

PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 4 October 2000