ADJOURNMENT & RESPONSE | WEST GATE TUNNEL PROJECT
Mr Melhem (Western Metropolitan): My adjournment matter is directed to the Minister for Roads and Minister for Road Safety and the TAC, the Honourable Jaala Pulford. The West Gate Tunnel project is one of Victoria’s most vital infrastructure projects, and the west is the fastest growing area in Victoria. We need a second river crossing in order to service the imminent population boom and associated traffic. The addition of four new lanes on the freeway between the M80 and the West Gate Bridge will also assist in alleviating congestion and increasing amenity for my constituents living in the west. Over 6000 jobs are expected to be created throughout the life of the project. I am delighted that the Andrews Labor government is providing good, reliable jobs for people in my electorate, many of them recently retrenched auto workers. As part of the construction of this project a section of the freeway was modified in order to allow for two additional lanes for cars travelling inbound and outbound. However, that has created some problems recently, so in order to facilitate this change new line markings have been painted on the road. However, the old line markings remain on the road, often causing confusion for drivers. The concern I have is that this may cause serious incidents. I will give you an example. On Sunday night there was a half-a-dozen-car pile-up on that road. I drive that road every day, and there is a clear confusion between the old markings and the new ones. Someone at VicRoads obviously forgot to basically blacken the old line markings or use dedicated markings—for example, yellow markings—so drivers could be told, ‘Use the yellow markings instead of the white markings’. At the moment you could be driving in a lane where you have got four line markings on the same lane, and that is what I think contributed to the accident on Sunday night. So the action I seek is that in order to avoid a potential tragedy on that important road the minister instruct VicRoads to investigate how this issue can be best rectified and to act upon that advice swiftly to ensure that the confusion around these line markings is eliminated and we avoid some major incidents or potentially loss of life.