The Age: Home owners wait and see on East West Link. Timna Jacks (November 30, 2014)
Champagne may have been flowing at Bendigo Street in Collingwood on Sunday, but residents remained sceptical about Daniel Andrews’ promise to scrap the East West Link.
Mr Andrews promised the East West Link contract would be ripped up and their homes saved under a Labor government, so the residents were relieved he was voted into power. But politicians, they pointed out, are known to promise one thing before an election, and do another after entering office.
And they couldn’t help noticing that Mr Andrews didn’t mention the East West Link in his victory speech to the party faithful on Saturday night.
Gilbert Schultz, whose home was compulsorily acquired by the Linking Melbourne Authority in October, was wary of Mr Andrews’ campaign.
“Australians don’t trust politicians,” he said outside his townhouse, adorned with Yarra Council’s “Trains Not Toll Roads” signage.
“There is an old saying that a week is a long time in politics, so let’s see what happens. But I will be very disappointed if they do a turn-around on this.
“You only need one nutcase who flips out about this before you’ve got serious trouble.”
Keith Fitzgerald, 71, who has lived in Collingwood since birth, is hoping Mr Andrews will keep his promise, but also remained sceptical.
‘I don’t trust anyone,” he said outside the Bendigo Street home he has occupied for 69 years. “But I hope he will do what he says.”
Activists, however, were upbeat.
Mr Andrews promised to release the business case and all documents relating to the tunnel project by Monday and convenor of Residents Against the Tunnel James Milne said he would reserve his judgment until then.
Other activists said Mr Andrews would need the money from the East West Link project to deliver on his promise to remove the 50 most dangerous level crossings, and would not risk making a “Tony Abbott blunder” in reneging on his signature commitment.