Daniel Andrews, his Transport Infrastructure Minister, Jacinta Allan, and Labor have botched the West Gate Tunnel Project from go to woe.
The massive increases in Transurban tolls already being paid on this project are hitting motorists and small businesses hard.
The massive job losses in Melbourne from construction workers to engineers, are now to be joined by 60 jobs lost at the Benalla-based concrete supplier.
Before the deal was signed, Labor, Jacinta Allan, and Northern Victoria MP, Jaclyn Symes, made great play of the local jobs to be created in Benalla. Now they have gone to ground, claiming it is nothing to do with them.
The many statements made by Jaclyn Symes have now come back to haunt her:
“I will always stand up for my home town of Benalla – I put people before politics,” – Jaclyn Symes, Benalla Ensign 15 June 2018
“I fought for these Benalla jobs and I’m so proud because of the Labor Government my home will reap the benefits,” Jaclyn Symes, Facebook post, 26 September 2018
“I’m sure you’ll agree under Labor, Victoria has ‘cemented’ itself as the job-creating state,” Jaclyn Symes, Facebook post, 7 October 2018
What steps will Jaclyn Symes and Jacinta Allan take now? Will they ensure that every one of these sacked employees gets their job back?
Labor’s haste to sign up to this project – a market-led proposal from Labor’s mates at Transurban – meant proper due diligence and preparation was not undertaken. Why did Labor not ensure there was a solution to the safe and secure disposal of toxic tunnel spoil before the deal was signed?
The Environmental Effects Statement process pointed to contamination risks in Melbourne’s west. Why did Labor not act on these warnings?
Comments attributable to the Shadow Minister for Transport Infrastructure, David Davis:
“The fact is this contract, this West Gate Tunnel concession, the whole market-led proposal and the special deal on CityLink tolls were all Daniel Andrews’ and his Labor Government’s decision. It is time Andrews fixed the mess he created and restored the Benalla jobs.
“It’s time the Member for Northern Victoria Region, Jaclyn Symes, lived up to extreme rhetoric. Will she guarantee the 60 local jobs are restored?”