Fund Reconstruction and Resilience in Victoria by cancelling the North East Link toll road

Fund Reconstruction and Resilience in Victoria by cancelling the North East Link toll road

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Alex Marks started this petition to The Hon Jaala Pulford MLC (Minister for Roads) and

Communities across regional Victoria have been devastated by bushfire. Lives have been lost, homes and livelihoods have been destroyed, millions of stock and wildlife have been killed, entire forests have burned, and ecosystems have been decimated. 

A massive mobilisation of resources is required for the recovery. This will require billions of dollars to fund. It will require a multi-year effort by government agencies new and existing. It will require a totally new approach to the way we recover and prepare for natural disasters.

The budget priorities of the Victorian Government therefore need to change. $16.5 billion is currently allocated to the "North East Link" toll road. This toll road will induce traffic to clogged arterials, including the Eastern Freeway. It will occupy a decades-old reserve that was to be used for a long-awaited rail line. It is a waste of money.

We should be preserving habitat, not adding to the damage caused by bushfires. This toll road will wipe out 26,000 established mature trees that provide habitat to wildlife, some of it endangered. It will impact the Banyule Flats and other precious wetlands that support birdlife.

We need to fund 21st Century solutions to the climate crisis, and discontinue failed 1950s road-centric thinking.

We call on the Victorian Government to cancel the North East Link and direct the $16 billion saved to reconstruction of bushfire-affected areas, supporting resilience of Victoria to climate change, and real investments for public transport in Melbourne's northeast.

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