The Age: Evidence doesn’t back Napthine’s claim

Illustration by Ron Tandberg

Illustration by Ron Tandberg

There has been a strong response to Dennis Napthine’s recent comments about the EW link and the change in government. The EW link is another example of the governments ‘salami’ tactics to spread a network of tollroads through parklands, residential areas and across the entire city. The NE link through Banyule is also part of this 1950’s strategy.

Read more about what people said in response to Dr. Napthine’s comments.


“Premier Napthine is drawing a long bow if he believes large swings to the Coalition in seats east of the city to be a clear indication that the east-west link was at the forefront of voters’ minds following Mr Abbott’s promise of $1.5 billion for the project (”Vote ‘vindicates’ road link”, 9/9).

In many electorates along the Eastern Freeway the increase in the Liberal Party’s first preference vote was considerably less than the reduction in the ALP’s first preference vote, hardly a resounding vote in favour of the link. Not that the Liberal Party did not try. The Premier sent addressed letters promoting the link to many electors in the eastern suburbs. Others received a letterboxed pamphlet. The one I received from the Premier and the state member for Box Hill asserted the link will slash travel time. I can’t see that. We need a rail service to Doncaster to reduce car dependency in this corridor, not another road that will be clogged again in a few years’ time.

Ian Hundley, North Balwyn

Anger with ALP not an endorsement of link


Premier Napthine says the vote vindicates his decision to build the link. Does it? The average swing to the Liberals in seven eastern Melbourne electorates (Menzies, Deakin, Aston, Chisholm, Bruce, Casey and La Trobe) was 3.8 per cent. The Liberals managed to win only one of those seats from Labor, Deakin, with a swing of only 1.67 per cent. In Casey and La Trobe the average swing was 2.6 per cent. Dissatisfaction with Labor proportional to the national mood, yes. Endorsement of the east-west link? Certainly not.

Professor Nicholas Low, University of Melbourne

Swing in east below state average

Premier Napthine is either clutching at straws or being deliberately misleading with his claim that the election result was a ”vindication of the controversial east-west road link” due to ”large swings against Labor in seats to the east and south-east of the city. Where is his evidence? The largest swings against Labor in Victoria were in Ballarat, Bendigo and western suburban seats like Gellibrand, Gorton and Lalor – which are not areas that stand to ”benefit” from the project. In the seats of Deakin and Kooyong, which include many of the eastern suburbs that have been identified as gaining from and supporting the project, the swing was below the state average. There is plainly no correlation between voting patterns and support for the project.

Damian O’Keefe, Clifton Hill

Hardly the act of confident Premier

If the election result vindicates the east-west link, why is the Coalition so determined to avoid the people’s judgment by not taking this proposal to the state election, by rushing approvals and contracts to avoid judgment and by introducing legislation to shut down community consultation?

Petra Stock, North Carlton

For more comments, visit the original article published by The Age 10/09/2013; to see the original article, click]

Click here to submit a letter to the editor of The Age


About Friends of Banyule Inc

President & Public Officer of Friends of Banyule Inc, a community not- for-profit organisation to enhance and protect the environmental assets of Banyule City. Currently fighting the proposed NE Link freeway through one of inner Melbourne's most ecologically sensitive areas and historical areas.
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