Legislation will be introduced into parliament this week as the Victorian Labor Government seeks a framework for the management of the West Gate Tunnel when it opens in 2022.
Ahead of approaching tunnelling works set to commence later in the year, the Andrews Government said its legislation will help decrease the presence of trucks on roads in the inner west as it moves ahead with lawful truck bans.
It intends to remove 9000 trucks from the roads.
Fines collected from truck ban offenders will be reinvested in local transport projects and programs.
In a statement the Andrews Government said the proceeds of fines would benefit local communities via the Better Freight Fund, with a focus on those who may be impacted by changes in the truck numbers.
“The West Gate Tunnel Bill and amendments to the CityLink Concession Deed will provide a fairer tolling regime for all for Victorians and remove historical clauses that would see Transurban compensated for State projects that divert traffic off its network,” the government said in a released statement.
An exposure draft of the West Gate Tunnel Bill and CityLink Concession Deed was released in 2017 when contracts were signed for the West Gate Tunnel Project, as part of a range of documents released for the project.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said it took only one crash to turn the West Gate Bridge into a car park.
“We desperately need this second river crossing and we’re not wasting a minute delivering it,” he said.
“The Westgate Tunnel will slash travel times, create thousands of jobs and get trucks off local streets in Melbourne’s west.”