Concrete reassurance sought
State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes has written to Shadow Minister for Planning David Davis requesting reassurance for the Benalla community that the Coalition will not try to block the West Gate Tunnel project for a second time. In the letter Ms Symes said she wanted Mr Davis to confirm that the Coalition “does not intend to propose a further revocation motion or otherwise that would cause the West Gate Tunnel project to be delayed or halted”. Her reasoning for the request is to “provide certainty for the Benalla community” regarding the proposed pre-cast concrete facility, which is cited to create 400 jobs. In the letter Ms Symes confirmed her belief that if the West Gate Tunnel Project is shelved, the concrete facility in Benalla will not be built. This is something that State Member for Euroa Steph Ryan has contested. In February she told The Ensign that the Nationals opposing the tunnel would have no affect on the planned facility and the jobs it would offer. “Major infrastructure companies like John Holland regularly tender for government work,” Ms Ryan said at the time. “They do not build plants like these for one project.” However, Ms Symes has stated several times that she believes this is not the case and that without the West Gate Tunnel Project there will be no reason to build the facility in the first place. Mr Davis has been approached for comment, however, at the time of going to press The Ensign had received no response.