Protests across the country on Sunday decrying the Federal Budget have reignited concerns Victoria’s budget is failing commuters both in the short, and long term.
As preparations begin for construction of the East West Link, set to continue until 2023, it remains unclear where funding will be drawn from to fulfill the rest of the $24 billion budget laid out by Premier Dennis Napthine in May.
As the largest Victorian infrastructure budget announced, other controversial projects such as the Port of Hastings development risk putting an unbearable strain on existing roads according to locals.
“We are 10 years behind where our infrastructure needs to be” remarked truck driver Dean Jennion. “Simply shifting the problem will not remove bottlenecks.”
Other recent projects such as the 2009 Victorian Cycling Strategy have been more successful at reducing the growing number of cars, however increasing reports of associated “injury collisions” have stemmed mass adoption.
Sergeant Alex Griffith elaborated at a recent press meeting “The vulnerable road users […] tend to be pedestrians, cyclists and motorbike riders.”
As the State election draws closer, the Coalition government is likely to come under scrutiny for it’s efforts to maintain a smooth infrastructure system, and it’s decision to sideline many previous projects of the Labour government.
The touted Melbourne Rail Link project also remains dubious without any announced contribution from the federal government, and only $830 million contributed over the next four years from within the state, leaving as much as $10.2 billion to be sourced.
Melbourne’s public transport system will inevitably remain a contentious issue, and while the Federal government may have neglected it for now, even our truckers feel “sometimes it is much more reliable.”