Greens MPs Adam Bandt and Greg Barber have criticised a Gillard government decision not to require an environment impact statement for East West tollway roads and open cuts tunnels that will wreck Royal Park environment reserves and parkland.
"Minister Burke's decision to fast-track approval for the East West tollway shows Labor's opposition to the East West tollway is hollow,” Australian Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt said today.
“The Minister cannot hide behind the letter of the law. He has been more than happy to look for creative ways to halt other environmentally destructive projects, such as Alpine grazing, but here he has given the East West Tollway the green light instead of going the extra mile to stop this environmental vandalism."
"The tollway will be a pollution nightmare and wreck one of Melbourne’s great natural parks."
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber has called on the Liberal state government to develop a plan to address the crisis in the dairy industry, after a new survey shows confidence amongst dairy farmers has plummeted.
"Confidence amongst western Victorian dairy farmers has collapsed in 2013 to 46% down from 63% last year. Even during the shocking drought times such as 08-09, confidence was much higher, with a 70-80 percent positive outlook."
"Given the significance of the dairy industry to Victoria, you'd think the state government would have said something about the triple crisis of climate, market and competitiveness hitting the industry."
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber says V/Line's latest performance figures show a system that is failing, with the Geelong line on a downward spiral and regular passengers on every line but one eligible to claim compensation for poor punctuality.
"This is getting beyond a joke. I call on V/Line to publish the reasons for each and every delayed train so the Napthine government can be held responsible for starving V/Line of funds," said Greens MP Greg Barber
The planned East West Tollway will have an open cut exit ramp at Elliott Ave Parkville, between the Royal Melbourne Zoo and the Children's Hospital, which will dump traffic in the city.
"It will destroy open space and wetlands in Royal Park, expose residents to pollution and pour traffic onto Elliott Avenue near Flemington Road, making road congestion worse," said Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber
"You'd better believe we will fight this one all the way."
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber has asked the State Government to declare western Victoria as drought affected, triggering Federal assistance.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Mr Barber said "I am requesting that [the Minister] take action to have western Victoria declared to be drought affected, and to lobby for federal assistance for farmers in that area. Last week Queensland declared large parts of the state to be drought affected."
"Over the past couple of weeks I have been all over western Victoria and the picture is quite stark - poor rainfall over the last six months, record lows in some areas, and a forecast for more of the same. It must be obvious to the Premier, given that this is part of his own electorate. He cannot have missed the fact that there is a lot of heat and drought affecting his electorate."
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber says the Napthine government is sacrificing V/Line passengers to scrape together money for his inner Melbourne toll road.
"No additional V/Line coach or train services this year. If you need more frequent services from your town to make travelling more convenient or to reduce overcrowding, bad luck, come back next year," said Greg Barber MLC
"The Napthine Government allocated $8 billion on a road tunnel from Collingwood to Kensington in yesterday's Budget, but it can't scrape two cents together for the extra V/Line trains we need."
Victorian Greens Leader Greg Barber says public transport services to miss out, overcrowding to become extreme after the State Budget released today.
"The state government predicts tram, bus and V/Line passenger numbers to actually shrink next year. Are they dreaming?" said Victorian Greens Leader Greg Barber
"When you allocate $8 billion to a single road tunnel, it doesn't leave much left over to fix public transport."
"V/Line patronage has been growing fast, up 17% in three years, but there's been close to zero increase in V/Line services over the last three Budgets. There's zero increase in V/Line services funded in this Budget."
"Tram patronage has grown 14% over the last three years. How many more people do they think they can squeeze in? There's zero increase in tram services in this Budget and there was nothing in the last two either."
Two reports tabled in the Victorian Parliament show that Melbourne's transport system is in danger of grinding to a halt, says Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber.
"We're in trouble in Melbourne when it comes to public transport," said Greg Barber MLC
"The Auditor-General says the Government has no plan for shifting people from their cars to public transport despite road congestion getting worse."
V/Line's latest monthly results released today show need for a fully funded improvement plan with money allocated in next month's State Budget.
"There's no sustained improvement in V/Line's performance. On some lines, things are getting worse," said Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber MLC
"V/line is a serious commuter service that many depend on. And if they can't rely on it, they'll give it up and drive instead. It's not just for people visiting the grand kids and the odd country holiday."
The latest V/Line performance report shows it needs money in next month's State Budget to improve reliability and on-time running of V/Line services, says Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber.
"On-time running is not getting better, if anything it's getting worse. Let's see Terry Mulder stop hiding behind V/Line and explain what he will do to improve train punctuality," said Greg Barber MLC