Melbourne's west needs greater road spend, forum told

Roads in Melbourne's west need urgent attention to accommodate future freight volumes, a forum has been told

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | November 19, 2013

Roads in Melbourne’s west need urgent attention to accommodate future freight volumes, a forum has been told.

Victoria University Professor Hermione Parsons believes road maintenance is necessary to connect the city with Port of Hastings in light of the west continuing to be a major growth corridor for metropolitan expansion.

"The east and south-east now have a reduced percentage of port freight and the west has a higher proportion than 10 years ago," she told a breakfast forum the Wyndham Industrial and Liaison Development (WILD) committee hosted.

Parsons welcomed the Victorian Government’s Freight Plan, which was released earlier this year, but noted the absence of funding for big-ticket items.

"The plan shows cross-city traffic movements between the west of Melbourne and Hastings will rely on largely unfunded long-term plans to build and complete the current and outer ring roads and develop the South East Rail Link dedicated freight line," she says.

WILD Chairman Mick O’Donnell says there are major practical, strategic, economic and social questions about the plan that require further discussion.

"Given the central role of this area in freight movements and the continued expansion and history of neglect of roads here, it is critical that the State and Federal governments invest as a matter of urgency," O’Donnell says.

The $1.6 billion Freight Plan includes the expansion and development of the ports of Melbourne and Hastings, the East West Link and the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel.

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