Premier Denis Napthine is pleading with the Abbott government to ''bring forward'' Commonwealth infrastructure funding to offset the pain caused by the looming end of manufacturing by Holden. Dr Napthine revealed before a meeting of federal cabinet on Monday evening to discuss the car industry crisis he has been pushing for several ''significant'' yet-to-be announced infrastructure projects for Victoria, potentially including a second stage of the east-west link connecting the Tullamarine Freeway to the Western Ring Road, the Metro rail project and public transport improvements.
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I can't help predicting we have the perfect storm approaching Australia. In my lifetime I have never seen a situation like this. Manufacturing is quitting Australia and the Government has a ballooning debt situation having made all sorts of promises to the electorate prior to the last election.
Napthine now appears to be playing the freight card in an attempt to get the metro rail tunnel funding up.
Mr Abbott has repeatedly ruled out Commonwealth funding for commuter rail projects, saying the government should ''stick to its knitting'' and focus on roads. During the election campaign, he said he would withdraw funding set aside to start work on Melbourne's Metro rail - a tunnel from South Kensington to South Yarra that would allow an extra 20,000 passengers in peak hour.
Given the Holden crisis, Victoria will urge Mr Abbott to reconsider his refusal to fund the project, with Dr Napthine insisting it would boost regional and freight services, adding V/Line capacity to Gippsland and allowing a link to the expanded Port of Hastings.
How will this work?
With BAE systems at Williamstown now looking for work after 2015 and calling on the federal government, is it not possible for these large manufacturers to acquire work from overseas countries to be built here then exported? Why do we need to rely on Australia for the work?
Why not undertake the Geelong-Ballarat-Bendigo Rail Revival and pend some money in Regional Victoria. Why do all the jobs needs to be created in Melbourne?
The Perfect Storm