Spotswood residents seeking more open space and a ban on trucks as a trade-off for the impact of the West Gate Tunnel project are being left in the dark over whether their wishes will be met.
Star Weekly last month reported 24/7 truck bans would be introduced in Footscray and Yarraville once the $5.5 billion project was completed in 2022.
The toll road project includes twin tunnels beneath Yarraville, from the West Gate Freeway to the Maribyrnong River, and an elevated freeway above Footscray Road to CityLink and the city.
Roads Minister Luke Donnellan told Star Weekly it was too soon to consider the further truck bans wanted by Spotswood residents.
“Everybody wants truck bans right now,” he said. “But what do I do – say, ‘Don’t worry we’ll just get rid of industry’, and wish it away?
“We can’t just suddenly bring industry to its knees, because it means employment for people; that’s the difficulty.”
Mr Donnellan said it was easy for people to get angry very quickly, but the issue was complex.
“We’ve got to build the infrastructure, then we’ll look at the truck bans, then we’ll look at what other measures we need to undertake,” he said.
“People have got to be patient. We’ll work through those things.
“There’s only one party offering a solution and that’s the Labor Party.
“Some people are offering a protest, others are offering bugger all, but we’ll do it properly.”
Western suburbs Greens MP Colleen Hartland, who addressed a community forum hosted by Spotswood South Kingsville Residents Group last Thursday night, said Transurban’s new toll road would attract thousands more trucks onto local streets.
“That’s great for Transurban’s bottom line, but what about our community? If you think the truck problem is bad now, the worst is yet to come.”