Work on tunnel dumped

08 Mar 2018 Herald Sun, Melbourne (General News) by Alex White WORK on the $6.7 billion West Gate Tunnel has ground to a halt after planning approvals for the project were dumped in the Victorian Upper House. The move was slammed by the Andrews Government as a jobs threat, with construction delayed while a new planning amendment is created to enable work to carry on. When the vote went through, Premier Daniel Andrews said major construction work has been suspended at the Northern Portal site near the Maribyrnong River, and on the West Gate Freeway, which will eventually be widened to 12 lanes. The Coalition and the Greens voted together to dump planning approvals, with Opposition roads spokesman David Hodgett saying the project doesnt stack up. Mr Andrews flagged the government would reissue a planning approval today, allowing work to recommence. Liberal MP David Davis who introduced the motion to revoke said the project was not in the best interests of the Victorian people. Peter Anderson, chief executive of the Victorian Transport Association, slammed the use of parliament to block a major project. Its a sad day for Victorians that parliamentarians have used a political process to overturn a planning decision that would finally have led to a much-needed second Yarra River crossing, he said. Earlier, Labor member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said the revocation would be a harsh blow to her local community, affecting 400 workers at a concrete facility in Benalla. The second major Yarra crossing has been a controversial project, with community members in the west concerned it will lead to rat running and more trucks in suburbs.Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.