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Friday, 16 August 2013

LIBERAL NATIONAL GOVERNMENT MISLEADS ON ROAD TUNNEL

The Napthine Government has now kept the business case for its $8 billion dud tunnel hidden from public scrutiny for three months and it is time it was revealed for public scrutiny, State Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards said today.

Ms Edwards said Denis Napthine continues to hide the business case from Bendigo and regional families and expects them to believe that major local infrastructure projects such as the Ravenswood interchange won’t be postponed or shelved to pay for it.

Ms Edwards said on May 15th this year Transport Minister Terry Mulder told the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee that “we have the business case in our hands at the moment” but the Napthine Government had since hidden this from Victorians.

“Labor will continue to call on Denis Napthine to release the business case for public scrutiny as the public have a right to know why the Government wants to spend $8 billion on a tunnel in Melbourne at the expense of regional road infrastructure.”

“Any new major game changing infrastructure projects will be decades away as the government builds a dud $8 billion tunnel - a tunnel that no one wants and no one will use from a Premier no Victorian voted for.”

Ms Edwards said the Government also ignored a June deadline to submit the information to Infrastructure Australia for consideration, instead waiting until July to release the “Short Form” Executive Summary.

“Victorians would have expected Denis Napthine to provide a lot more than a high school essay to justify spending $8 billion on a tunnel,” Ms Edwards said.

“Mr Napthine’s document contains no traffic volume forecasts, no revenue projections, no details of the savings or the costs expected’.

“The Eddington report has provided us with nearly three hundred pages of analysis, while Premier Napthine has released just twelve pages of fluff.”

Ms Edwards said if Mr Napthine believed he knows better than Sir Eddington, he should release the business case.

“There are now serious questions that need to be answered about the Government’s East-West tunnel project including:

What is the Benefit-Cost Ratio if the so-called “wider economic benefits’ are not considered by Infrastructure Australia?

    • What are the traffic projections for the East-West tunnel?
    • How high will the toll be for users of the tunnel?
    • When will the full business case be released to the Victorian public?
    • How many regional road projects will be delayed or shelved to pay for the tunnel?

“It has been three months since the Napthine Government announced that it had the business case in its hands, it is time for Denis Napthine to stop trying to hide the facts from the Victorian community.”

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