THE East-West Link project isn’t just for Melburnians, according to Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder, who said the project would have ramifications across the state.
In an interview with The Courier on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Mulder said it was important to spread money across both public transport and roads.
The comments came after it was announced the Commonwealth government would contribute $1.5 billion to stage two of the massive project.
“I think anyone who is travelling from Ballarat, (and) doesn’t have direct access into Melbourne, who gets caught up with all the M1 congestions, people who are going to the footy, going to hospitals or whatever, are all subject to massive delays and that is going to increase going forward unless this alternative crossing of Melbourne is built,” he said.
“It is going to get worse and worse and it does have an impact on those travelling from Ballarat into the city or those heading out of the city as well.
“There are a lot of goods which come out of Melbourne and travel across the city and to Ballarat, and the cost of those is going to escalate if we can’t move that freight quickly.
“People who just want to get into Melbourne for whatever reason, the delays are just going to grow and grow.”
Mr Mulder said the project would cut 10 to 15 minutes from the travel time from Ballarat to the city.
He said despite the massive cost of the project, believed to be up to $18 billion, money was still being invested in public transport for Ballarat to ensure the government didn’t put all of its eggs in one basket.
“We are investing an enormous amount on public transport, not just for metropolitan Melbourne but for regional Victoria as well,” he said.
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