Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Community pickets disrupt East-West tunnel project

Reading Time: 3 minutes

“Building the roads of the 21st century” has become something of a mantra for the newly elected federal Liberal government. It is aimed at appeasing the big business oil and freight lobby at the expense of communities in desperate need of improved and expanded public transport.

By SP reporters Melbourne

The Guardian wrote this week that “In all, $11.5bn has been pledged by the Coalition with not one dollar going to urban rail extensions or upgrades. Work on road upgrades has already begun, with Abbott last week unveiling the business case for the $1.5bn WestConnex project in Sydney. “I want to be known as an infrastructure prime minister and I want building the roads of the 21st Century to be a hallmark of my government,” he said.

A further $6.7bn will go to fix the rather dilapidated Bruce Highway in Queensland, while $5.6bn will be spent on lengthening the Pacific Highway. There will be $1.5bn to help build the highly controversial east-west road link that will demolish houses and part of a park in Melbourne.”

The battle over the East-West toll road tunnel in Melbourne

The Victorian state Liberal government has announced plans to go ahead with the East-West road tunnel – a toll road that would link the Eastern Freeway to Melbourne’s western suburbs. The project is expected to cost upwards of $6 billion.

We stand firmly against this plan as it will not ease congestion or solve Melbourne’s transport problems. Instead we want to see money invested into the public transport system – particularly the Doncaster and Metro rail projects. This would do much more to ease congestion on Melbourne’s vast road network. It would also create thousands of jobs and be a step towards the action required to address climate change.

Our campaign has already forced Labor to change it’s position and oppose the tunnel. However, Labor has said that if elected at the next state election it will honour any contracts already signed by the previous government.

In effect this means that whether it be the Labor or the Liberals in power, the government will proceed with this disastrous project.

The only solution is to build a movement of people on the ground that is capable of stopping the tunnel from being built.

An army of people committed to engaging in peaceful but determined direct action can send the major parties and investors a strong message that if they choose to proceed with this project a mass community picket will be waiting for them at the site.

To this end the Socialist Party has initiated a pledge where people can sign up to be part of this movement. Already over 500 people have signed the pledge and more names are coming in by the day.

So far community pickets have disrupted test drilling for soil samples. Community action works. We encourage all those opposed to the tunnel to support these actions.

The major parties only represent the interests of big business. We are fighting for the needs of the community and the environment and for a world that puts people before profits.

Support the ongoing community pickets in Melbourne against East-West tunnel drilling!

How you can help:

1. If in Melbourne, join the picket!

Txt ‘tunnel’ to 0432 447 036 to get txts about picket locations. You can also sign the ‘No East-West tunnel pledge’ online here.

2. Spread the word

Like the Facebook page ‘No East West Tunnel – Take the pledge!‘ and use the Twitter hastag #tunnelpicket

3. Donate to the campaign

Offer your donations on our Facebook page ‘No East West Tunnel – Take the pledge’ and we will get in touch with you.


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