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Media Release

23/08/2001

Politicians urged to come clean on Scoresby tolls

The Public Transport Users Association has urged State and Federal politicians to stop deceiving the public about the funding of the Scoresby Freeway. Speaking in response to yesterday's media stunt by State Transport Minister Peter Batchelor, the PTUA has urged politicians to admit that the freeway is planned to be a toll road. PTUA President Dr. Paul Mees said:

"The Scoresby Freeway will cost a billion dollars. So far, the Federal government has committed $220 million and the State has said it will match this. That leaves up to $600 million outstanding, and the politicians intend that this will come from tolls. However, they are concealing this fact from the public."

"Peter Batchelor persuaded the Federal government to commit funds to Scoresby by complaining that Sydney's Western Orbital Road is being funded as a Road of National Importance. The Federal government responded by offering Batchelor the same deal it has already struck on the Sydney Western Orbital - about 40% of the cost will be funded by the Federal and NSW governments, with the remainder coming from tolls."

"Batchelor's continued posturing about more money from the Federal government is dishonest. The Howard government has repeatedly said that there is no more money, and $220 million is all that's available. The Victorian government met Kim Beazley on 12th July and asked Federal Labor for more, but Beazley refused, citing the New South Wales precedent. So the politicians all know that the Scoresby Freeway will be a tollway if built, but are hiding the fact from the public in the lead-up to the Federal election."

"It's about time the politicians came clean with the public. That way, we can have an informed debate about the best transport options for Melbourne's outer eastern suburbs. $440 million would pay for a Scoresby toll freeway, but it could also be used to provide a first-class public transport system. " Dr. Mees said.

Contacts:
PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 23 August 2001