Joanne Ryan MP
Federal Member for Lalor
Joanne Ryan MP

Western Distributor

I rise today to congratulate the Victorian Labor Andrews government for their infrastructure programs—for the Melbourne metro project, demonstrating that they are serious about public transport, and for the Western Distributor proposal currently under assessment—and to condemn the Abbott government for its failure to commit a fair share of the infrastructure pie to Victoria.

The Western Distributor is an outstanding proposal. It is expected to be ready to go by the end of the year. It will connect the West Gate Freeway to CityLink via a tunnel and an elevated freeway. It will relieve pressure on the West Gate Bridge. It is the alternative crossing that we have all waited so long for. It will improve truck access to the port of Melbourne, thereby reducing truck numbers on the West Gate and in the inner west. It will create 3,500 new construction jobs and have a cost-benefit ratio of $1.60 for every dollar spent. It could start this year and be finished by 2020. It would greatly improve driver safety for commuters from Melbourne's west, who drive into the sun every morning and evening. It would enhance their safety.

We all know that Victoria has already been dudded; the budget papers proved it. I call on this government to stop the childish games and give Victoria its fair share of the infrastructure pie.


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