LABOR'S Jennifer Kanis has spoken out against an East-West road tunnel, saying it would bring more cars into the CBD.
Her claim comes after federal opposition leader Tony Abbott announced that if elected he would commit $1.5 billion to kick start an East-West link to connect the Eastern Freeway with the Western Ring Road.
Ms Kanis said the tunnel as proposed by the Baillieu government would bring more cars into the inner city. "It will bring more traffic to Melbourne, it will ruin our parks and neighbourhoods and it won't solve the problem."
The Greens' Cathy Oke said the Greens had a history of opposing the East-West tunnel at all levels of government.
"What Melbourne needs is investment in public transport, not a new tunnel or tollway," she said.
MAYNE ATTACKED IN SMEAR CAMPAIGN
Gambling reform candidate Stephen Mayne has made a formal complaint to the Victorian Electoral Commission over the distribution of an anonymous smear sheet. Mr Mayne discovered a two-page smear letter had been sent to Melbourne voters last week.
The letter attacks Mr Mayne's decision to preference the Greens over Labor, and highlights comments that paint a negative picture of his time on Manningham council, published in a recent Sunday Age story.
"I know it has gone to people in Docklands and East Melbourne, I don't know the scale of it – from what I can tell I don't think it is that comprehensive," Mr Mayne said.
"It's inappropriate and it should be stopped."
Labor Party state secretary Noah Carroll condemned the letter, saying his party had nothing to do with the smear tactics. "We take electoral law very seriously, it is a breach of the act to send anything out without authorisation," he said. "I absolutely deplore this action."
Planning policies aimed at empowering residents and local councils were the centrepiece of Cathy Oke's campaign launch. Ms Oke launched her campaign with federal MP Adam Bandt and Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber at Revolt in Kensington on Sunday. She unveiled a plan to work with the state government and Melbourne City Council to bolster the rights of residents and businesses in Melbourne's capital city zone – which includes the CBD. Ms Oke said city zone residents and business owners "should have the right to appeal, object or even just be notified" about relevant planning applications.
She said she also wanted to give back planning powers over major developments to city councils, with the state planning minister now having final sign-off on developments more than 25,000 sqm in scope.
"In North Melbourne, council and the community have worked over many years planning for population growth and density growth and they want to see that plan enacted," she said.
Independent candidate David Nolte, who is also a Liberal Party member, will preference Labor over the Greens in the Melbourne byelection.
In a byelection field with no formal Liberal candidate, Mr Nolte believes his preferences will be "crucial". "I have been a Liberal Party member on and off since 1974, I am committed to Liberal values like hard work, families and giving people a hand up rather than a hand out," he said.
Mr Nolte said he would preference Labor third, well above the Greens. "It's not about personalities it is about what is best for the people of Melbourne," he said.