01/05/2012

Western Metropolitan Greens MP Colleen Hartland is disappointed that there is nothing in today's budget to stop the western suburbs turning into a truck park.

"The Baillieu government has ignored calls from across the western suburbs for solutions to our growing truck problem.  Instead, it will be responsible for turning our home into a truck park - our streets are so choked with trucks that they spend more time bumper to bumper and not moving ," said Colleen Hartland

"Today's Budget officially abandons the cost-effective Truck Action Plan*, which  is shovel-ready and would take trucks off our streets. Funding has ceased. There is also no funding for new rail freight infrastructure in the West, which would get freight off our roads and onto rail."

"The Baillieu government went to the last election promising no more neglect in the Western Suburbs."

"The Truck Action Plan is shovel-ready and would take trucks off our streets for a comparatively modest $380 million. Not bothering to build it is the worst type of neglect possible, especially with the Port being expanded."

"Families in the West will be exposed to even more cancer-causing diesel fumes and incessant noise from thousands of trucks every day."

"The City of Maribyrnong has more than 21,000 trucks travel its streets every single day and Francis Street alone has 7,000 trucks."

"Kids in schools, kindergarten and child care centres breathe the truck fumes. We don't accept kids being exposed to cancer-causing tobacco smoke; why does the government continue to expose our kids to cancer-causing diesel fumes?"

"The recent COAG Livable Cities Report** stressed that Melbourne was failing to prepare for the growing freight volume which is threatening liveability. The Baillieu government has completely ignored this warning."

"The Western Suburbs communities will not be happy with being ignored in today's Budget and will not give up this fight for clean air and safe streets," said Ms Hartland.

For comment: Colleen Hartland-  9689 6373

* Budget Paper 4, page 53 shows no expenditure in 2012-2013 financial year for Truck Action Plan. Footnote on p.54 explains: "The status of this project is pending the planning and development of the East West Link."

** COAG Reform Council Report - Melbourne chapter:  http://www.coagreformcouncil.gov.au/reports/docs/capital_cities/chapter_...