News & Media Releases

$3 Billion for Metro Rail project on the right track

15 May 2013

Yarra Mayor Cr Jackie Fristacky has welcomed the $3 billion commitment in the Federal Budget to Victoria’s Metro Rail project and the exclusion of funding for the east west toll road and tunnel.

“This budget has put public transport in Victoria high on its agenda which is not surprising given the absence of a business case and logistics analysis, and the expected poor cost benefit outcome for the east west toll road,” Cr Fristacky said.

“Even today, the Age reports that tolls on the planned east-west road link would have to be three times the current cost of an average trip on CityLink to attract project investors, according to an international study led by University College London.”

Cr Fristacky urged the State Government to be open and transparent and release the business case for the east-west road link to enable proper scrutiny by transport professionals and the community.

“The community has a right to know the details of this project and how it will impact them,” she said.

“The Prime Minister is correct in stating Victoria can't expect billions for the east west toll road when the details are yet to be assessed by the nation's key infrastructure advisory body.

“The State Government is creating an illusion that the east west toll road will solve congestion problems but the logistical reality is that it will make congestion worse and that there is no sound business case for its operation.

“More than 80% of the 135,000 vehicles a day on the Eastern Freeway will still seek to exit at Hoddle Street and other inner roads to reach their inner city destinations.  The east west toll road will not help them and it will not reduce congestion.”

Cr Fristacky said the Federal Budget’s commitment to Metro Rail focused on delivering real transport benefits for Melbourne. It provides a solid foundation for new rail services to meet the strong demand for public transport which has been growing by up to 10% per annum, while car use has been stagnant, she said.

“It’s now up to the State Government to meet the growing demand for public transport and match the Federal Government’s $3 billion commitment to the Metro Rail project,” she said.

Yarra Council strongly supports public transport solutions ahead of more roads given the superiority of public transport in terms of economic value, congestion reduction, equity of travel and benefits to the environment.

“Doncaster Rail is a major priority for this Council, but we also recognise the significance of the Melbourne Metro Rail project and other public transport solutions, as opposed to more tollways through inner Melbourne,” Cr Fristacky said.

For further information about this media release and the Trains not Tollroads campaign launch on 13 June, please contact Joanne Mulcahy, Executive Manager - Communications and Customer Service, on 9205 5142 or at



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