Gippsland South The Nationals Roads city centric westgate

Gippslanders slugged for Labor’s Westgate Tunnel

Gippsland motorists using CityLink to get to the city will be slugged higher tolls for longer under the Andrews Labor Government’s plans for the Westgate Tunnel Project.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, said it was completely unfair that Labor was proposing to increase tolls by 4.25 per cent each year for the next 10 years and add a 10-year extension of CityLink tolls to pay for the new Westgate Tunnel Project.

Mr O’Brien was speaking on the legislation to formalise the funding arrangements for the tunnel in State Parliament today which the Liberals and Nationals are opposing.

“This funding arrangement is completely unfair for CityLink users and will place the burden of funding a tunnel in Melbourne’s west on users from Gippsland who will rarely, if ever, use that tunnel.

“It is completely unconscionable that Daniel Andrews thinks that Gippslanders should pay CityLink’s owner Transurban for another 20 years for a tunnel that will be of little benefit to them.

“We are in favour of user-pays but this is not user-pays, this is the non-user paying.”

Mr O’Brien said the Liberals and Nationals are opposing the funding arrangement and he was surprised other Gippsland representatives were supporting it.

“We’d expect Labor’s Harriet Shing and Jane Garrett to back their own government in the Upper House, but it’s incredible that Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP Jeff Bourman would vote with Labor to slug his own constituents like this.

“We don’t oppose the new infrastructure, but the funding arrangements highlight Daniel Andrews’ inability to manage major projects.

“On coming to Government in 2014 he claimed this project was ‘shovel ready’ and would only cost half a billion dollars. It is now $6 billion and a vastly different project and he is slugging Gippslanders to pay for a project that benefits the west.

“This is not fair. This is a funding arrangement that will boost the bottom line of Transurban at the expense of Gippsland motorists.”

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