Wide opposition to new Melbourne freeway

Activists can press for governments to act on climate change by opposing freeway construction and demanding improved public transport.

In Melbourne, a widely-supported campaign is developing against a new Victorian government sponsored freeway proposal-the east-west tunnel.

Inner-city councils Moreland and Yarra are campaigning against the tunnel as well as the Greens and even sections of the Labor Party.

At a meeting in April, attended by 150 people and sponsored by the Moreland Council, Labor MP for Brunswick Carlo Carli spoke out against the tunnel, saying it would cost $9 billion.

According to Justine Webse of the Public Transport Users Association:

“At a time when Melbourne’s traffic congestion is at chronic levels and some 70 per cent of the city is without an easily accessible train service, we need a new solution to our transport requirements.

“We see public transport as being a major factor in reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions and in providing affordable transport. Many people do not realise that around 50 per cent of household [carbon] emissions stem from transport.”

A strong campaign united campaign could win a major victory for public transport and action on global warming. Unfortunately the Brunswick meeting did not attempt to initiate a united campaign. Given the strength of the Greens in this area, they could make a huge contribution by leading a broad-based campaign, rather than just an electoral intervention.

Left wing climate activists have come together to hold a rally on July 5 in central Melbourne. This rally unites people opposed to the freeway tunnel with others opposing the new coal-fired power station, desalination plant, bay dredging and the Climate Emergency Network, under the umbrella of “real solutions to stop global warming”.

To get involved in building the rally,

contact Chris on 0403013183.

The committee meets at 6.30pm Thursdays, fortnightly, Ross House 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. Next meeting: May 28

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