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Media Release

11/01/2001

Federal Funding for Scoresby: Wishful Thinking

Reports that the billion-dollar Scoresby Freeway in Melbourne's outer east is about to receive federal funding have been described as "wishful thinking" by the Public Transport Users Association.

PTUA Secretary Vaughan Williams said that despite the efforts of local MPs and media outlets to beat up the story, discussions with the Federal Department of Transport and Regional Services have revealed that no decision has been made on the question.

"The PTUA will be joining a delegation of local business, community and environmental groups and representatives of councils to seek discussions with Federal Transport Minister John Anderson," said Mr Williams.

"We are concerned that Mr Anderson is being misled on the degree of community and business support for the project. When local businesses were surveyed as part of the EES process, the businesses ranked improved public transport as the second highest priority after the completion of City Link which has just occurred. Only three respondents even mentioned the Scoresby Freeway as a priority."

"The Scoresby Freeway does not qualify as a road of national importance. To qualify, the proposed road needs to meet a set of criteria*. Just one of them is that the road must reduce greenhouse emissions. According to the Kennett Government's Environment Effects Statement, the Scoresby Freeway will increase greenhouse emissions."

"Another criteria is that the road must connect industrial areas to the National Highway or other major transport facilities such as air and sea ports. The Scoresby Freeway does neither - connecting the Dandenong industrial area to the port and airport is what City Link is for. There are no airports or seaports along the Freeway's route despite claims to the contrary by Vicroads."

"If the road doesn't meet the criteria, its not entitled to any funding. Its not enough to just say that the road is expensive and we really want it," concluded Mr Williams.

* These criteria are too long to insert here, but the PTUA can supply a copy

Contacts:
PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 11 January 2001