Manningham Leader: State Government silent on claim Manningham is missing out on rail link because the area votes Liberal anyway. Anna Chisholm. 19 May 2014
The State Government neglected several key transport projects for Manningham in the Budget because the area is a Liberal heartland, a councillor says.
Cr Stephen O’Brien said the Napthine Government’s decision to fund certain Doncaster Area Rapid Transit and rail projects over others was aimed at winning marginal seats.
“Warrandyte and Bulleen are pretty safe liberal seats,” he said. “Poor old Doncaster (Rail) seems to be forgotten.”
Manningham Council chief executive Joe Carbone said he was disappointed the government did not commit to more bus and tram services in Manningham.
“Council is seeking future investment for other crucial DART projects, such as the Bulleen Kiss and Ride facility and bus priority measures along the Eastern Freeway and through Doncaster Hill,” he said.
Mr Carbone said while the council welcomed the upgrade of the Hoddle Street and Victoria Parade project, it wanted the final Doncaster Rail study, phase one recommendations report, released this year.
“It is also disappointing there has been no mention of Doncaster Rail, particularly any commitment to complete the feasibility study, including phase two,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Transport Minister Terry, Mulder, Jess Maguire would not say when the Government planned to fund the rest of the municipality’s transport projects or respond to Cr O’Brien’s assertion that voting patterns meant the area kept missing out on rail.
Ms Maguire said the Government was investing $47 million for the Victoria/Hoddle bus upgrade project as part of the transit improvement package.
She said this was part of the $108 million East West Link package.
“These works will improve bus travel times for the nearly 20,000 daily bus commuters along Victoria Parade and Hoddle Street and this is widely supported by people who use these bus services on a daily basis,” she said.
Public Transport Victoria (PTV) spokesman Helen Witton said they remained committed to delivering the Bulleen Kiss and Ride facility by late 2014.
“PTV and Transdev have met with Manningham Council to discuss bus service proposals for the area,” she said.
STATE GOVERNMENT RESPONSE IN FULL
“The Victorian Government is investing $47 million for the Victoria/Hoddle bus upgrade project as part of the Doncaster Area Rapid Transit (DART) improvement package. The Coalition Government announced this in February as part of a $108 million East West Link package of public transport improvements.
“These works will improve bus travel times for the nearly 20,000 daily bus commuters along Victoria Parade and Hoddle Street and this is widely supported by people who use these bus services on a daily basis.
Victoria Parade and Hoddle Street not only carry a bus per minute during peaks, but tens of thousands of vehicles per day, making the efficient movement of people into and out of Central Melbourne a major economic priority for Victoria.
The works will provide new dedicated bus lanes along Victoria Parade, upgraded bus stops, signalling improvements to give greater priority to public transport and improved bicycle and pedestrian connections.
Jess Maguire — Media Adviser
Office of the Honourable Terry Mulder (Minister for Public Transport and Roads)
OUR QUESTIONS IN FULL
1. Has Manningham missed out because it is such a “safe” Liberal seat for the Napthine Government?
2. When does the State Government plan to fund the rest of Manningham’s transport projects?
3. Council is seeking future investment for other crucial DART projects — will this be funded and when?
4. The Bulleen Kiss and Ride facility and bus priority measures along the Eastern Freeway — will this be funded and when?
5. Bus priority measures through Doncaster Hill, including a feasibility study to investigate grade-separating buses through Doncaster Hill and improving the bus interchange facilities on the hill — will this ever be funded and when?