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Ramsay to fight Labor’s big-budget go-slow tunnel

Member for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay, says the Andrews Government’s West Gate Tunnel project will put more pressure on Geelong motorists and train users.

Mr Ramsay said Labor’s plan represents another massive cost blowout, a post-election change of plan and slower travel times especially during construction.

“The Coalition will not support a project that requires legislation to amend the CityLink Concession Deed to extend tolls to fund the West Gate Tunnel, and will block legislation to that effect in Parliament this week,” Mr Ramsay said.

“Labor wants another 12 years of extra tolls and another $12 billion dollars from taxpayers’ pockets – all for a project that has been described by experts as a ‘dogs breakfast and a “methodological ‘fudge’”.

Mr Ramsay said if the $5.5 billion project goes ahead, Geelong motorists will be forced to slow down in the construction zone and battle for safety with more trucks forced onto the road.

“While this is normal, it simply adds to what is already a protracted journey.

“And if motorists choose to go by rail – they face a slow sardine service that has reportedly failed 36 of it’s last 39 punctuality targets.

“Whichever way it goes – this is going to be hard work for the Geelong community,’ said Mr Ramsay.

The tunnel is expected to hit capacity in less than 10 years, lower than standard for new roads.

The first Victorian’s heard of this project was November 2013 when Labor promised a $400-$500 million West Gate Distributor that, by April 2014, was announced as ‘shovel-ready’ by Daniel Andrews.

A month after being elected it had blown out by $180 million to $680 million.

By April 2014 it had blown out to $5-5.5 billion.  By April 2017 it was re-named to the West Gate Tunnel and motorists soon told that it would cost them $2 billion in tolls.

“Dan said it would be delivered before the end of his first term in 2018,” Mr Ramsay said.

“At the rate he’s going – there’s more chance it won’t be delivered at all. It certainly won’t be on time. And it definitely won’t be on budget”.

The Coalition is committed to building the East West Link which is supported by Infrastructure Australia, Infrastructure Victoria and motoring groups across Victoria including the RACV and VACC.