Footscray residents demand end to truck movements

More than 600 residents from Melbourne's western suburbs call on government to re-direct trucks away from residential streets

June 2, 2011

More than 600 residents from the Melbourne suburb of Footscray have called on Premier Ted Baillieu to redirect heavy vehicles away from residential streets.

Labor MP Marsha Thomson, who represents Footscray, has tabled a petition in Parliament signed by 601 residents seeking government support for the construction of WestLink and the development of the Truck Action Plan.

Both initiatives, announced by the former Labor government as part of the now scrapped multi-billion dollar Victorian Transport Plan, are designed to reduce truck traffic on residential streets in Melbourne’s inner west.

Under the Truck Action Plan, on and off ramps would have been built along a dedicated truck corridor to Melbourne’s port precinct, while the WestLink road tunnel would act as an alternative to the West Gate Bridge.

"The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Assembly urges the Baillieu government to commit funding to the truck action plan and WestLink," the petition reads.

The petition is part of a sustained campaign by Labor and the Greens to get the Truck Action Plan started. Labor MP for Williamstown Wade Noonan recently gathered 457 signatures supporting the initiative.

The Greens have been vociferous in their push for action, with MP Colleen Hartland claiming "residential streets are being overloaded with trucks".

She wants night curfews immediately imposed and for the Truck Action Plan to act as a medium-term solution until more freight can be shifted onto rail.

Baillieu is also facing heat from his own side. Liberal MP Cindy McLeish tabled a petition from 1,500 Seymour residents in favour of the Truck Action Plan, which was ignored in the recent State Budget.

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