PARLIAMENT HOUSE, Canberra: Traffic congestion in Melbourne, and in my electorate particularly, is getting worse every year. We all know the situation of being stuck in traffic, looking at the cars in front of us and feeling as if we are not moving anywhere. This clearly has a social impact on families, because it means time away from home. But it also has an economic impact. It is estimated that traffic congestion in Melbourne costs $2.7 billion and that will rise to about $6 billion by 2020 if ameliorating action is not taken.
Fortunately, action is being taken at both state and federal levels. I would like to take this opportunity to outline some of the initiatives which will particularly impact residents in my electorate. Residents of my electorate, like other outer suburban electorates, are particularly impacted because a lot of the population growth is in those areas, and because there are so few other public transport options.
The first initiative I would like to mention is the East West Link. We have now put in through the federal budget an extra $1.5 billion, bringing the total contribution to $3 billion towards the East West Link. That will take not only pressure off the Eastern Freeway and provide routes across to the western parts of Melbourne; it will also take pressure off the Monash Freeway which so many of constituents in the southern parts of my electorate use.
Secondly, I want to mention a few local roads that I have made commitments to fight for. I would like to update the House on those. I will begin with Napoleon Road. That is one that has been badly in need of an upgrade. I am pleased to report that the budget allocated $81,900 in Black Spot funding to make significant improvements and add four turning lanes to Napoleon Road which will increase the safety and amenity of that road.
I would further like to suggest that Police Road needs to be extended through to Churchill Park Drive. I mentioned this during the campaign and I have begun some discussions in relation to this. It is a difficult and complex problem because there are so many stakeholders—different councils and various levels of government are involved—but it is something we need to progress in order to take pressure off Bergins Road.
I continue to press for the most dangerous part of the Stud Road bus lane to be removed—between the Burwood Highway and Boronia Road. And, finally, I continue to press for the Rowville rail, which is a project that is badly overdue. Fortunately, we now have the feasibility study—the first and second stages—in, and progress is being made.