THIS week Enfield couple Kevin and Colleen Rowlands witnessed their third truck roll-over in six years, when a trailer carrying 38 tonnes of logs overturned in a ditch outside their Ballarat-Colac Road home.
State Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews yesterday chose the site to launch a new Labor advertising campaign against the government’s $8 billion east-west link tunnel project.
Mr Andrews said if the Coalition spent $8 billion on a single road project in Melbourne, regional, country and suburban roads would miss out.
The spend on the five-kilometre tunnel equated to $1 million a metre, while Monday’s roll-over at Enfield was one example of what could go wrong on poor quality country roads, he said.
“If you’ve only got one priority, everything else comes in a distant second,” Mr Andrews said.
“Bad roads will get worse in country Victoria and even if they’re OK, if roads don’t get the upkeep they need, they’ll become bad roads as well.”
Ballarat East MP Geoff Howard pointed to many ‘rough surface’ signs that had gone up on the Ballarat-Colac Road without work being done on the surface.
Premier Denis Napthine has described the east-west link as vital for Melbourne and the state: removing congestion, improving productivity and creating more than 3200 jobs for Victorians.
Treasurer Michael O’Brien recently said Victorians knew that not building the freeway would lead to more congestion and worsening travel times.
The 18-kilometre, cross-city road connection would extend across Melbourne from the Eastern Freeway to the Western Ring Road and would include a road tunnel under North Carlton.
The project has won strong support from business and transport groups, including the RACV.
But, in July, Labor announced it would oppose construction of the freeway and attacked the Coalition for not releasing the business case for it.