Public Transport Victoria: Network Development Plan: Apparently, a huge road development in Melbourne’s inner north has higher priority than existing public transport plans for the rest of the metropolitan area, although you could be forgiven for believing it’s all been usurped by the current State government push for “Freight State” malarky and huge superfunds looking for profits. Just where do the public fit into this picture?
The Age: Letters (5 October 2013)
Well done to The Age for continuing to pursue the state government over the secrecy of its business case for the east-west link (”Secret case for link revealed”, 2/10 and other articles). As a former transport modeller who was based in Melbourne, I am dismayed to see Brisbane-based Veitch Lister used for such an important assessment of infrastructure. The assumptions used are pie in the sky. Did the company run a scenario where people aren’t willing to pay more tolls, parking costs increase and fuel prices continue their upward spiral? Maybe the company should be employed to run the business cases for the infrastructure projects that Melbourne actually needs – the Melbourne metro, Rowville rail, Doncaster rail and the airport rail. Imagine the benefits the company could find.
Juan Ricardo, Fiji
Where’s big picture?
Silly me. I thought transport planners would look at all the possible projects and prioritise them on the basis of the number of people and businesses that would benefit and how well the projects fit with an overall strategy for Melbourne’s development. I wonder if recent disclosures help explain why there is no plan for a train to Monash University or Doncaster or a tram to Knox. There are no nice expensive tunnels to be dug by big developers. The ghost of Tommy Bent – once minister for building railways that benefited land he was waiting to flog off – must be laughing.
Lyn Firminger, Burwood
No mandate for link
The east-west link will cost about $8 billion. Victoria’s population is about 5 million. So the outlay will be about $1600 per person or, for a family of five, about $8000. How will this massive outlay benefit the families who live along the choked-up railway lines stretching to the city’s west, south-east and north-west and whose members have to commute to work or study? The state government has no mandate to commit Victorians to the folly of the link. In fact, the Coalition won the state election by promising to build rail lines. In 2010, it said of the line to Doncaster that: ”we’ll study it, then plan it and build it”. Until we have an election, the Coalition has no mandate.
John Anderson, Warrandyte
So little information
One of our reasons for starting a petition on change.org about the east-west link’s impacts on the zoo is the alarming lack of information from Linking Melbourne Authority about the scope, progress and preliminary findings of the impact assessment studies (”Fears of east-west link impact on zoo animals”, 4/10). The authority’s ”trust us” comment that there will be ”no direct or significant impacts on the zoo” simply demonstrates its contempt for the assessment process, zoo members and the public. We are asking for rigorous investigation, and yes, we do actually want to see it for ourselves.
Petra Stock, Carlton North
Pushing a line
Further to your report that the RACV president has been accused of playing favourites in the election campaign (4/10), the board incumbents also play favourites in pushing roads over public transport – as demonstrated by its ”Demand Better Roads” campaign. The board has consistently favoured spending on roads despite members’ preference for investment in public transport to ease road congestion.
Angela Smith, Clifton Hill