Clare-Le-ServeIf you commute to Melbourne for work you may note the projected increase in traffic volumes on the Monash Freeway from the Port of Hastings extension.
The Herald Sun stated that consultants Deloitte estimate that the Port expansion will lead to an extra 30,000 to 35,000 trucks per day using the Monash Freeway.
This is a threefold increase in truck traffic based on their VicRoads advice that more than 155,000 vehicles, including about 15,000 trucks, now use the Monash each day.
The Napthine Government has committed to this poorly thought out project without first doing the necessary research.
The impact of the development on such things as traffic congestion, the impact on the environment of Western Port and sustainable tourism jobs should have been determined before a decision was taken to extend the Port of Hastings.
The government is now spending $110 million of taxpayers’ money to assess a project they have already decided will go ahead.
By declaring the project under the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act the Minister for Ports David Hodgett admits he is streamlining the approach to assessment, approval and delivery of the project; that is backfilling the assessment and justification process.
A responsible course of action would have been to spend a fraction of that amount to determine the feasibility, the logistical and environmental implications before making a decision.
There are serious questions that should be answered before another dollar is wasted by the Coalition Government on this port folly:
How will they solve the traffic congestion the Port extension will create?
What will be the impact on the Ramsar listed wetlands of Western Port?
Where will the dredging spoil be dumped?
What will be the impact on recreational fishing?
The boating exclusion zones will greatly impact Western Port as a fishing destination. The commercial loss to tourism and recreational fishing should be a major consideration.
I call on the government to rethink this project and give thorough consideration to the full implications of what is a hastily convened project.
Clare Le Serve, Independent Candidate for Bass.