Moreland Leader: East West Link and trains dominate Moreland transport forum. Emma Hastings. 30 September 2014
The East West Link and trains dominated discussion at Moreland’s Metropolitan Transport Forum last night.
The 100-strong crowd fired questions at Labor, Greens and Liberal state candidates just hours after Premier Denis Napthine signed the contracts for the East West Link.
Brunswick state Labor MP Jane Garrett, Brunswick state Greens candidate Tim Read and Northern Metropolitan Region state Liberal candidate Gladys Liu took turns to answer questions at the forum.
Topics included the East West Link, Upfield train line, climate change, housing density, rail extensions and cycling infrastructure.
Ms Garrett said Labor would create Infrastructure Victoria, a body to prioritise projects, build Melbourne Metro Rail, put 50 level crossings underground and extend the South Morang train line to Mernda.
She labelled the signing of the East West Link contracts “an act of breathtaking arrogance”.
“Let me be clear, a Labor Party elected will not proceed with the East West tunnel,” Ms Garrett said.
But Dr Read pointed out Labor had promised only to rip up the contracts if Moreland and Yarra councils won their legal fight against the project.
“Labor’s relying on the outcome of a court case, allowing a judge to determine their public policy,” he said.
Dr Read said the Greens would put as much freight onto rail as possible, would legislate to void the East West Link contract.
He said the party would create a new SmartBus to improve routes, including the 504 bus along Brunswick Rd, and engage experts to determine what projects should be done to improve public transport.
Ms Liu said the Coalition Government improved public transport over the past four years by creating Public Transport Victoria, adding 10,000 services, increasing punctuality on trains, introducing protective services officers and spending $24 billion on public transport infrastructure.
“We are seeing the results of more investments in the basics,” Ms Liu said.
Moreland’s Metropolitan Transport Forum was organised by the Metropolitan Transport Forum and Leader Newspapers.