The Age: Expert casts doubt on road tunnel plan

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Yarra Campaign Against the Tunnel - Rally at Smiths Reserve

The Age: Expert casts doubt on road tunnel plan (Kate Lahey, July 29, 2008)

A new road tunnel is not the best solution for Melbourne’s growing population and the Government needs to focus on public transport, a world expert in urban planning warns. Cassio Taniguchi, secretary for the Department of Urban Development and Environment in Brasilia, said public transport was a cheaper, less polluting investment that would ultimately move more people.

“You must give priority to the mass transit system, to the public transportation system more than a road system, more than road networks,” Mr Taniguchi said. Mr Taniguchi is in Melbourne to deliver a lecture on the future of cities at Melbourne University tonight. It is his second visit to Melbourne.

Speaking to The Age, he praised Melbourne’s tram network and the State Government’s Melbourne 2030 plan. But he questioned the wisdom of a new tunnel, such as that recommended by engineer Sir Rod Eddington to link the eastern and western suburbs. (more in link to article)

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Meanwhile, this media release from Friday 25 July makes no mention of Melbourne’s inner north and inner west suburbs which be the most affected by the proposed East-West Road Tunnel.

Premier of Victoria: Transport Planning in full swing Friday, 25 July 2008

Thousands of Victorians are expected to take part in a series of Brumby Government led transport round tables, ahead of a summit to be chaired by the Premier in September. Premier John Brumby said the Government wanted to hear the views of as many people as possible before a comprehensive transport plan is delivered at the end of this year.

“The 2200 submissions received in response to Sir Rod Eddington’s East West Link Needs Assessment report Investing in Transport showed there are a range of views in the community about Victoria’s transport priorities for the future.

“We are now holding more localised consultation, so communities can tell the Government about their local priorities.” The following events will be held between August and September:

  • Local Government and peak groups across the spectrum will be invited to attend transport round tables in: Geelong, Traralgon, Bendigo, Ballarat, Doncaster, Dandenong, Epping and Footscray; and
  • A Transport Summit to bring together the State’s best minds in transport and urban planning.

“I am pleased that many Members of Parliament will also conduct their own local roundtables and that these will feed into Government decision-making,” Mr Brumby said.

He said Victoria’s booming population and economy is changing our cities and regional centres. “The job at hand is to listen to all available views before making the necessary decisions to build the best transport system for Victoria,” he said. “The transport plan we will deliver by the end of the year will help drive our economy, make our communities more liveable and our State more sustainable.”

Invitations to round tables and public information about community summits will be made available in coming weeks.

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