Residents protest against freeway

Issue 

Residents protest against freeway

By Sue Bolton

MELBOURNE — About 70 people protested on August 12 against Premier Jeff Kennett's City Link mega-freeway project, which will link the eastern and the Tullamarine freeways. The action was organised by the North and South Carlton Residents Associations, Parkville Association and Coalition Against Freeway Extensions (CAFE).

While David White, a former minister in the Cain and Kirner governments, focused his concerns on the introduction of a toll, other speakers highlighted the problems of an expanding freeway system and advocated alternatives. White later admitted that the ALP supports City Link, but on a slightly smaller scale and without tolls.

John McPherson from the Public Transport Users Association reminded the crowd that Melbourne, with railway lines in almost all the right places, could have a good public transport system. All it needed were railway lines to Doncaster and Tullamarine. McPherson commented, "People will only get out of their cars if there is a public transport alternative".

Mcpherson told Green Left Weekly that it isn't just state Liberal and Labor that are pro-freeway and anti-public transport. The federal ALP government funded the Outer Western Ring Road, and it encouraged the pro-freeway policy by spending big money on freeways and a pittance on public transport.

"The federal government is also pro-road and anti-rail when it comes to freight", McPherson added.

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