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A Referendum on Melbourne’s future

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A Referendum on Melbourne’s future By Andrew Herington

The Prime Minister has sealed the fate of the controversial East West Link. When Tony Abbott declared the November 29th Victorian election to be a referendum on the project, he gave the winner a mandate – that most precious of things in politics.

If Labor wins, the project is dead. Daniel Andrews’s recent answers have been emphatic. If the Liberals win, it will have the political legitimacy that it has so far lacked. The final hurdle for the project would be whether the planning approval survives each of the three Supreme Court challenges currently underway.

Lend Lease and its consortium partners would still face protracted and well organised community resistance. In the early months, this would focus on sit-ins to prevent the excavation of a huge cutting in the central part of Royal Park – the largest hole ever proposed to be dug in Melbourne.

Denis Napthine has misread the public mood and put all his eggs in one basket, making the tollway the cornerstone of his Government whilst Daniel Andrews has staked his reputation on reversing the hastily signed contracts. The tollroad may turn out to be a very large political hole. Continue Reading…

Royal Park vigil + photo shoot

Sue Jackson: ‘Could you please ask your surveyors to exit Royal Park?’

Cathy was handed this notice yesterday by the East-West Connect contractors she met in Royal Park. Just in case you can’t read it, it says: ‘If you have any questions about the East West Link project please call 03 9828 5135′. So, meeting at 6.30 this morning at the park and spotting a group of surveyors already at work, Jill did exactly as requested. Her question was a simple one: ‘Could you please ask your surveyors to exit Royal Park?’ The somewhat bemused Lendlease employee on the other end of the line said that although she personally did not have the authority, she would certainly pass on the request. Surprisingly, when I left Royal Park for work at 8am, we were still awaiting our reply. (More in link)

Continue Reading…

Second Rally for Public Transport in Melbourne: #Rally4PT – 15 November 2014

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The second #Rally4PT organised by community groups was held on Saturday 15 November in the heart of Melbourne to demonstrate Victorians continued strong rejection of the deeply unpopular East West Link. The following crowd-sourced accounts are collated from mainstream media, blogs, twitter and facebook via storify.

Gallery: Rally for Public Transport: 15 November 2014

Continue Reading…

Ray Jordan from All Aboard speaks at #Rally4PT

This is Ray Jordan letting the people know how hard it is for people like him to use Public Transport. Video by Tom Stafford.

Ray was a speaker at #Rally4PT organised by community groups held on Saturday 15 November in Melbourne to demonstrate Victorians continued strong rejection of the deeply unpopular East West Link.

Find out more about All Aboard: www.all-aboard.net.au  or the facebook group: www.facebook.com/allaboard4access

Tunnel Vision or World Class Public Transport?

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A landmark report into the East West Link has been released: Tunnel Vision or World Class Public Transport: How cancelling the East West Link can fund better transport alternatives for Melbourne.

The Age: Universities’ analysis shows East West link bill to reach $17.8 billion November 11, 2014. Royce Millar, Ben Schneiders and Josh Gordon

The Napthine Government’s signature infrastructure project will cost Victorian taxpayers as much as $17.8 billion, and will be a drain on the public purse until the mid-2040s, the first major analysis of the controversial East West Link shows.

A report by 10 leading transport planners and financial analysts from three Melbourne universities concludes the East West price tag will be “comparable” with the Wonthaggi desalination plant, the cost of, and secrecy around which, contributed to the defeat of the Brumby government in 2010.

Read the Report: Tunnel Vision or World Class Public Transport: How cancelling the East West Link can fund better transport alternatives for Melbourne.

This report is about Melbourne’s transport future. Our concern is the largest transport infrastructure project in the State’s history and the most expensive per kilometre in the nation’s history: the East West Link (EWL). We argue it should be abandoned, with savings being used to fund a new, more effective public transport policy direction.

The authors of this report are a group of transport planning and financial experts including from RMIT University, the University of Melbourne and Monash University. We share a deep concern over the way Melbourne’s transport future has been unduly captured by a single project, the proposed East West Link (EWL), where the ends (better transport) have been given second place to means, in this case a private public partnership involving a secret contract signed on the eve of a State election.

A public report authored by: Professor Jago Dodson, RMIT University, Professor Nicholas Low, University of Melbourne, Mr John Odgers RMIT University, Professor David Hayward RMIT University, Mr Roger Taylor, independent researcher, Dr John Stone, University of Melbourne, Professor Brendan Gleeson, University of Melbourne, Professor Graham Currie, Monash University, Dr Crystal Legacy, RMIT University, Dr Sophie Sturup, Jiaotong-Liverpool University (University of Melbourne to July 2014)

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