Feds urged to rethink WestLink funding

Commercial property firm tries to secure funds to improve truck traffic, but there are doubts the project will happen

By Ruza Zivkusic | February 14, 2011

A leading commercial property firm is lobbying the Victorian Government to proceed with proposed WestLink plans which would improve Melbourne’s infrastructure system.

The national director of research at Colliers International real estate group, Nerida Conisbee, says a tunnel from the ports through to Footscray is needed to improve truck flow.

The multibillion-dollar plans for a freeway road tunnel and a 17km rail tunnel under the city centre were proposed by the Brumby Government but never funded.

Conisbee says the Federal Government needs to give WestLink "serious" consideration.

"It’s critical to have good transport links; WestLink would be a great project for the west industrial area and for the people living in the west," Conisbee says.

"As the west continues to grow those roads will be more congested, WestLink would allow access to the ports more easily."

Minister for Public Transport and Roads Terry Mulder believes it is unlikely the two projects will get federal funding.

He earlier said the proposed project had already been turned down for funding by Canberra but a $40 million federal grant for planning on the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel is likely to proceed.

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