Brumby hit with community backlash over truck plan

Families affected by Victoria's Truck Action Plan protest over a lack of answers from government

By Ruz Zivkusic | November 3, 2010

Families affected by the Truck Action Plan (TAP) called on the State Government this morning to meet the costs of the truck projects if funding was not secured from the Federal Government.

Up to 15 Yarraville families whose properties will face demolition under the government’s plan to remove thousands of trucks from Melbourne’s inner-west lobbied for action.

Greens MLC Colleen Hartland, who joined the residents in voicing their concerns, says many live in limbo not knowing when the government plans to commence the project.

"The government made an announcement the other week that they’re spending $21 million on the TAP but that’s not enough, $380 million is required to do this," Hartland says.

"They’re trying to get the federal funding and they’re also trying to get funding for the road tunnel Westlink; the state government could actually fund that if they choose to but there seems to be like they’re not choosing to."

"It’s extremely cynical because this is considered to be a safe Labor seat so they don’t need to do anything."

Will Todd bought his three-bedroom house in Francis Street, Yarraville, a year ago unaware of the government’s plans.

Living without knowing when his house would be acquired was difficult, he says.

"We’ve been told that our house will be gone in maybe a year or four years so we can’t plan our lives," Todd says.

"We just want a date and some certainty in our lives because at the moment we’ve got nothing; we can’t renovate or sell.

"We just want answers to what’s happening."

A spokesman for Roads Minister Tim Pallas, Bill Kyriakopoulos, says the TAP is expected to reduce the number of trucks using Francis Street and Somerville Road by up to 70 percent- which is 1.2million fewer trucks a year, by providing a new route for freight servicing the Port of Melbourne.

"We have tried to minimise the effects on impacted landowners, who were all contacted in July this year regarding the preferred route," Kyriakopoulos says.

"Last week, VicRoads met again with landowners to provide more information about the planning process and land acquisition, including their rights and entitlements.

"We understand people are concerned about trucks on our roads, which is why the Brumby Labor Government is building a better transport system and taking trucks off residential streets in Melbourne’s inner-west."

The bulk of the $380 million needed for the truck action plan is yet to be secured, with the government still seeking federal funding for the project.

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