East West Link is the missing link in Melbourne’s arterial road network: the Hon. Terry Mulder

“It’s a great day for Victoria with a project like (the East West Link) finally being signed off,” Victorian Minister for Public Transport and Roads, the Hon. Terry Mulder, told a CEDA audience in Melbourne .

Speaking a day after the contracts were signed for the project, Mr Mulder said, “it’s a great day for the economy … for the thousands of workers who will build the tunnels and the bridges … (and) for our local suppliers who will provide materials to East West Connect. But importantly, it’s a great day for tens of thousands of drivers who are stuck in congestion every day across the north of our city.

“The benefits of this project will be far-reaching and long-lasting.” he said.

“The East West Link is the missing link in Melbourne’s arterial road network. Not only will the project get Melbourne moving in terms of economic growth … inner city residents will also benefit enormously.”

“This is just one of many transport infrastructure projects the Victorian Coalition Government has underway,” Mr Mulder said.

Transport is a major issue for Victorian voters for the upcoming election, RACV General Manager, Public Policy, Brian Negus said at the CEDA forum.

He said that the RACV “is calling upon whichever party forms the next State Government to commit to addressing major issues” with the transport networks in Victoria.

One major issue, according to Hale Consulting Proprietor, Dr Chris Hale, is overcrowding on Melbourne trains and trams.

“Overcrowding is a real problem for public transport,” he said.

“It is unsafe … it creates massive problems with reliability and knock-on effects … it’s (also) a terrible experience for passengers.”

He said overcrowding is “a symptom of … a planning failure.”

Dr Hale proposed a 12-year infrastructure delivery program that includes “a regular, ongoing, stable capital allocation for public transport investment year to year, and bringing in other sources of non-traditional funding.”

Mr Negus agreed, saying “a wide range of funding proposals is needed to deliver these projects. It can’t all be done by government budget.”