• Local concrete jobs at risk with blockage

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    JACLYN Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) has challenged fellow representative Steph Ryan (MLA, Euroa) to put local jobs ahead of politics as the debate over the West Gate Tunnel Project continues.

    In March the Liberals and Greens in the Upper House managed to block planning permission for the tunnel project, which meant workers had to down tools until the government could re-gazette permissions and re-commence work.

    While work has continued on since that point, the Greens have again flagged the possibility of trying to halt work again in the future.

    Labor upper house member Ms Symes is calling on Ms Ryan (MLA, Euroa) to exercise her deputy leadership position to call on her Liberal colleagues to not join any attempt to block the project which could jeopardise local jobs, particularly the Benalla precast concrete plant, which will service the West Gate Tunnel.

    Labor say this facility, built by contractors John Holland, will create some 400 jobs for the area, many of which would likely be filled by people from the Shire of Strathbogie.

    Those jobs would likely go, the government argues, if the West Gate Tunnel project did not go ahead.

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