Dumping Melbourne's West Gate Tunnel toll road will destroy the economy and jobs, Premier Daniel Andrews says.
A bid to stop construction of the $6.7 billion project, which is being built in partnership with toll road giant Transurban, is due to continue in state parliament on Wednesday, with the coalition opposition attempting to revoke planning approval.
The Greens also oppose the project and with their support the upper house motion could pass.
“This is about the Liberal Party and the Greens – strange bedfellows – basically revoking that properly issued planning approval,” Mr Andrews told reporters.
“If the Liberal and National parties were successful in every device they seem intent to employ to stop this project, then these jobs will be more than at risk, they’ll be gone.”
However, he said the government would try and find a way to push ahead with the controversial road.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said the current project ripped off Victorians.
“The government’s proposal is a dog of a proposal,” he told reporters.
“Not only have they not negotiated, it appears they’ve just signed up to anything put in front of them.”
Greens leader Samantha Ratnam said her party opposed the tunnel no matter what, but the lack of proper process with the community exacerbated their stance.
The coalition opposition also wants to submit a motion to force the government to table all of the paperwork such as deeds and agreements with Transurban.
Six industry groups have penned an open letter to the upper house, begging it not to interfere with the tunnel.
“Using parliamentary processes to overturn planning decisions, for political reasons, would be irresponsible,” reads the joint letter.
“We all know from (previously proposed link road) East West’s cancellation that it would negatively impact Victoria’s economy.”
The letter is signed by the Australian Logistics Council, Urban Development Institute, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, G21, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Victorian Transport Association.
Preliminary works have already started on the West Gate Tunnel.
The company will pay for two-thirds of the project and the government wants to compensate it with a 10-year toll extension on the CityLink until 2045.