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Tunnel Vision Doco: Public transport not toll roads

From Tunnel Vision Doco: Public transport not toll roads – A short community video to assist voters make the right decision about solving Melbourne’s transport problems.

Featuring Tunnel Picket, the Battle of Westgarth Street (December 2013), Denis Napthine, Tony Abbott, Infrastructure Australia, Joe Hockey, Mel Gregson, Tony Murphy, Ian Bird, Kenneth Davidson and cameo appearances from the Eastern Freeway and the mysterious East West Link business case.

Besieged on five fronts, the Government denies reality


Besieged on five fronts, the Government denies reality By Andrew Herington

The Coalition has fallen so deeply in love with the East West Link that they are blind to its faults. The tollway is now dragging down their pitch for re-election, yet they keep promoting it. The LMA Newsletter being letterboxed through inner Melbourne is full of engineering drawings of massive bridges and roads lovingly given such fanciful names as “the Soundwave”, “vertical garden” and the “ribbon motif”. This doesn’t convince the target audience – it enrages them.

Yet, the Coalition Ministers and their engineers believe their own propaganda and see their project as a thing of beauty as well as an economic miracle. They just can’t see what everyone else sees – seven massive freeway viaducts destroying a major park, overpasses metres from resident homes, increased traffic, noise, air pollution and a massive sink hole for scarce capital funds that will prevent major upgrades to public transport for a decade.

Tellingly, they have made no effort to moderate the design of the project or take up any of the Assessment Committee recommendations to lessen the environmental impacts. They love it the way it is – and many of the most recent design changes make the situation worse not better.

The number of jobs to be created has been massively inflated. The CIS dubiously claimed 3,200 temporary construction jobs offset by the permanent loss of 203 existing jobs in properties being demolished. This was stretched to 3,700 for Stage 1, then “6,000 at peak employment” then 7,500. Now it is the basis for a Liberal claim of 200,000 new jobs over 5 years. Continue Reading…

Moonee Valley Council: East-West Link Information Session – 22 October 2014

From Moonee Valley Council – East-West Link:  – public information session video runs for approximately 1 hour 58 minutes.

We held an information session on Wednesday, 22 October to help the community stay updated about the latest changes to the project and how it will impact Moonee Valley.

Senator Rice questions Infrastructure Australia on the East West tollway & roads funding

Senator Janet Rice questions the interim Acting Australian Government Infrastructure Coordinator, John Fitzgerald, about the East West toll road, including its business case, and the wider issue of roads funding in Senate Estimates as part of the Rural & Regional Affairs & Transport Legislation Committee on 20 October 2014.

Senator Rice questions Infrastructure Australia on the East West tollway & roads funding

Senator RICE:

When does Infrastructure Australia expect to complete the assessment of the East West Link Stage 1 project?

Mr Fitzgerald:

We are still waiting on some final information from the Department of Infrastructure in Victoria, and when we have that we will finalise it.

The East West Link and Melbourne’s democratic ‘deficit’

From Election Watch  by Professor Richard Tomlinson is Chair in Urban Planning at the Melbourne School of Design, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne.

When the State Government of Victoria was preparing metropolitan Melbourne’s 2014 strategic plan, Minister Matthew Guy’s Ministerial Advisory Committee found that public transport and protecting public open space were the top concerns of Melbourne’s citizens.  Despite this the State Government’s latest planning strategy, Plan Melbourne(link is external)prioritises the East West (road) Link and commits resources to the eastern half of the link, which will compromise Royal Park.

Professor Roz Hansen, resigning as chairwoman of the committee late last year, commented that(link is external): “We are not being asked by government if we want this project; we are being told we must have it noting that there isn’t a week that goes by that the evidence against this project grows and grows.  …  Metropolitan road transport solutions used in the 1960s and ’70s do not make a great 21st century city”.

Is this criticism fair?  When Professor Hansen goes on to say that “if you only have one pot of money to spend on a major transport improvement it is not the East West Link”, is the point not just that there is only one pot, but also that the pot is dependent on grant funding from a Prime Minister who has indicated that his government will not fund public transport?
Without a constitutional mandate to prescribe State investment in private transport, but in a context of “vertical fiscal imbalance” where the Commonwealth Government gets more tax revenue than it needs, it can set the funding parameters for major transport infrastructure projects.

Continue Reading…

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