Leader of the Liberal Party
Leader of the Opposition

Malvern Speeches

Monash Freeway and Dandenong Road: noise barriers

Mr O'BRIEN (Malvern) -- I raise a matter for the attention of the Minister for Roads and Ports, and the action I seek is for the minister to stop his shameful neglect of the Malvern electorate when it comes to ensuring that adequate noise walls are installed along the Monash Freeway and Dandenong Road. As I have informed the house on many occasions, a large number of my constituents who live near the Monash Freeway and Dandenong Road are affected by excessive road noise. They are forced to live with this constantly impacting on their lives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without respite. But what has the government done to ease their burden? Absolutely nothing.

This is a government that is happy to take tens of millions of dollars in stamp duty from Stonnington residents and tens of millions of dollars in payroll tax from Stonnington businesses but gives nothing back to the area when it is needed. Even when VicRoads acknowledges that road noise levels from inside homes are in breach of government policy, as has happened in the case of Tony de Lutiis who lives in Finlayson Street near Dandenong Road, the government refuses to act. Even while roadworks are being done on the Ml to increase traffic volumes, which will significantly increase in traffic noise, the Brumby government refuses to act.

In this year's budget, which is an election year budget, we see the true colours of this Labor government. The Minister for Roads and Ports put out a press release claiming that $19.3 million would be spent on noise walls along the Monash Freeway.

From that headline you might get the impression that after 11 years of neglect the government was going to do something positive for the people of Stonnington, but that would require a government with a sense of fairness and a sense of decency. As the Stonnington Leader put it so well on 12 May:

What price a good night's sleep in residences abutting the Monash Freeway?

Stonnington has been overlooked for a piece of the $19.3 million pie in the state budget for noise walls.

Neighbours Boroondara have been assured $8.4 million by Burwood's Labor member, Bob Stensholt. And Monash, in the Mount Waverley electorate of Labor's Maxine Morand, has $5.7 million put aside.

It goes on to quote me as saying:

People in East Malvern, people in Kooyong, are just as badly affected by noise coming from the Monash Freeway as in Burwood or Mount Waverley.

This is a grubby government, run by people who do not believe they have any obligation to govern for all Victorians. It is a government that chooses to fund vital road infrastructure on the basis of electoral margins, not merit. The people of my electorate deserve the same consideration as those of Labor seats bordering the Monash Freeway, but they obviously will not get it under a Labor government. The numbers released by the government suggest there is $5.2 million unallocated from the $19.3 million contained in the budget for noise walls on the Monash Freeway.

I call on the minister and on the government to immediately commit to allocating that money towards improved noise walls on the Monash Freeway in the Stonnington area. Anything else can only be seen as a deliberate slap in the face to the people of Malvern and the people of Stonnington, and another example of how we have a Labor government which governs on the basis of political margin instead of the merit of situations it is confronted with. On behalf of all of my constituents who literally lose sleep over this problem, I urge the minister to act.

Contact Michael
Michael O'Brien MP

313 Waverley Road

Phone: (03) 9576 1850
Fax: (03) 9576 1849

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