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Media Release

02/12/2002

Freeway Building the Ultimate Vote Loser

Saturday's election result shows that freeway building is no longer accepted by middle suburbia, says the Public Transport Users Association.

PTUA President Les Chandra said that the defeat of several pro-freeway MPs and candidates, together with the high Green vote, confirmed that Melburnians regarded improved public transport as a higher priority than freeway building.

"Liberal candidates in seats such as Mitcham and Forest Hill all campaigned heavily on a platform of immediate construction of the Eastern and Scoresby (Mitcham - Frankston) freeways. By contrast, the Greens campaigned heavily on a platform of cancelling the freeways and diverting resources to public transport. The Liberal Party lost these seats, with a record vote going to the Greens instead." said Mr Chandra.

"Likewise, Shadow Transport Minister Geoff Leigh campaigned aggressively for the Dingley Freeway, but was defeated in his own seat of Mordialloc" added Mr Chandra.

"These results show that promising to build freeways is no longer a vote winner. Instead, it can be seen as the ultimate vote loser."

"Given that the ALP ultimately won these seats on anti-freeway Green votes, we hope that the new Labor government will step in to review their own pro-freeway policies, or else they may find similar anger at the ballot box at the next election."

"The PTUA has spent a good deal of time, energy and money over the past few years researching alternatives to these freeways, and we'd be happy to speak to any of the incoming Members of Parliament, to help them formulate new, pro-public transport policies" concluded Mr Chandra.


Background

At the end of October this year, the PTUA launched its new policy document, 'It's Time to Move', which examines in detail the problems with transport and transport planning in Melbourne and how these can be fixed. In particular, this document looks at the costs of some road projects and compares them with the costs of public transport alternatives, as well as proposing and costing a number of new projects. Copies of the document and an executive summary are available from the PTUA office.

Contacts:
PTUA Office 9650 7898


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Last Modified: 07 November 2002