• Fix Public Transport in Melbourne: We are not Sardines
  • Big ticket: Victorian premier Daniel Andrews (centre) and treasurer Tim Pallas answering questions about the decision to abandon the East West Link project in April 2015. Joe Castro/AAP Image
  • World’s most liveable city. (Cartoon by Ron Tandberg.)
  • World’s most liveable city. (Cartoon by Ron Tandberg.)

Fix Public Transport in Melbourne: We are not Sardines!

Fix Public Transport in Melbourne: We are not Sardines

Join the Victorian Socialists’ campaign to fix public transport in Melbourne

For the week starting July 9th we’ll be leafleting at train stations and targeting train lines all around northern Melbourne. We’ll have stalls, fliers and even a couple of sardine-themed stunts.

Fix Public Transport in Melbourne: We are not Sardines!

Fix Public Transport in Melbourne: We are not Sardines!

Meet at 7:45am at the following train stations:

  • Monday – Greensborough, Keon Park, Richmond, Clifton Hill, South Kensington, Broadmeadows, Coburg, Moreland
  • Tuesday – Reservoir, Collingwood, Macauley, Batman, Brunswick
  • Wednesday – Watsonia, South Morang, Regent, Upfield, Glenroy, Ansley
  • Thursday – South Morang, Preston, North Richmond, Fawkner, Jewell
  • Friday – Greensborough, Rushall, Flinders, Jewell.

Public transport in Melbourne has suffered from decades of underfunding. Trains and trams are overcrowded, buses are unreliable and the city is still growing fast. Metro Trains is a multinational corporation that is given $600 million annually to run Melbourne’s transport system. Metro makes tens of millions of dollars in profit every year which is paid to shareholders instead of being reinvested into public transport.

The solutions are simple

1. Take public transport back into public hands. The government should stop subsidising Metro’s business and run public transport for people, not for profit.

2. Reinvest in public transport. A modern train signaling system would increase train line capacity and ease the extreme peak hour congestion on trains. We are calling for $1 billion to be reinvested into a better train, tram and bus system for all.

3. We need to fight for free public transport. The cost of running the Myki system isn’t worth it, and paying for an army of ticket inspectors to intimidate poor people is a disaster for public life.

4. We need reliable and frequent transport. We support ten minute all-day and five minute peak hour trains on all northern lines and indeed across the city. Trams should be taken up to 2 and 3 minute frequency in peak hour, and 5-6 mins all day. Bus services should run every ten minutes, all day with direct routes that connect to rail stations and times. All bus services should provide night time and weekend service.

The Law of Large Numbers – How much does it cost to stop a freeway?

Big ticket: Victorian premier Daniel Andrews (centre) and treasurer Tim Pallas answering questions about the decision to abandon the East West Link project in April 2015. Joe Castro/AAP Image

Honest figures about cancelling East West Link, with an attempt to include everyone else’s time and expenses.

Inside Story: The Law of Large Numbers by James Murphy (2 July 2018)

If, like me, you’ve been following the fallout from Melbourne’s East West Link freeway fiasco, you will have noticed that the bill for the Andrews government’s decision to stop the project somehow keeps growing. In April 2015, cancelling the contracts was going to cost the state $339 million in compensation. In December 2015, the ABC reported that the price tag had risen to $1.1 billion. Last week the Age had the cost reaching $1.3 billion.

Victorians will be relieved to hear that the real number is nothing like $1.3 billion. Publicly available information shows that the cost directly incurred by cancelling the contracts was $527,600,000 — a lot of money, but less than half the Age’s figure. That’s $339 million in compensation to the private sector for costs incurred (including compo for losing bids to build it); $81 million in bank fees for a facility set up for the project; $217 million in losses on swaps and other hedges; $600,000 spent by the government on legal and consulting fees to get out of the thing; and subtract from that $110 million in cash returned to state coffers. The figure has shifted a little — some of the bank fees and swaps have fluctuated in price or been repurposed for other projects — but it has remained well short of the billion-dollar mark. Read more

A letter from resident groups of the inner west

Say NO to West Gate Tunnel - rally for a sustainable Melbourne at Brooklyn, December 2017

Say NO to West Gate Tunnel – rally for a sustainable Melbourne at Brooklyn, December 2017

Originally published in The Westsider: A letter from resident groups of the inner west – The inner west does not need or want the West Gate Tunnel project  (May 2018)

It’s been widely claimed by the government and the press that the west supports the West Gate Tunnel Project. This is not accurate. A small section of one suburb, and one action group support it and even they have serious reservations about it. The rest do not. Community members of the Community Liaison Group made clear to Western Distributor Authority in December 2017 that considerable unresolved issues remained in the project. The City of Melbourne is opposed to the project and the City of Hobsons Bay has flipped flopped over the issues in the face of staunch opposition from its residents. Academics have published a highly critical report and significant professional planning groups have written to government with their concerns about governance and design.

But still the government has continued to proceed and get signed agreements with TransUrban, pushed through gazetting of planning scheme amendments and commenced construction in the knowledge that the community do not support it and the Legislative Council has the numbers to revoke approvals and halt work. The government has used paid advertisements from big companies and the website and press releases of one community organisation to justify it in the Parliament. This is brinkmanship, not good governance.

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