Napthine thumbs his nose at Victorians over EW Link

Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc. (PPL VIC) – Media Release Thursday 27 November 2014

Napthine thumbs his nose at Victorians over EW Link

Everyone knows that that the Coalition Government (now in caretaker mode) led by Denis Napthine has already signed the contracts for the infamous East West Link Toll Road in advance of the election this Saturday. What the public may not appreciate is that the East West Connect, a consortium contracted to carry out the construction of the biggest infrastructure project ever seen in Victoria, has already commenced work on the project in Royal Park. Last week teams of EWC surveyors moved in and commenced marking trees for removal in the vicinity of the planned tunnel entrance over the Ross Straw Field in Royal Park West as well marking what appears to be a construction road up Brens Drive, through the State Netball and Hockey Centre carpark and north on to the area of Royal Park designated by Linking Melbourne Authority for a construction camp and carpark.  Continue Reading…

A Referendum on Melbourne’s future

A Referendum on Melbourne’s future By Andrew Herington

The Prime Minister has sealed the fate of the controversial East West Link. When Tony Abbott declared the November 29th Victorian election to be a referendum on the project, he gave the winner a mandate – that most precious of things in politics.

If Labor wins, the project is dead. Daniel Andrews’s recent answers have been emphatic. If the Liberals win, it will have the political legitimacy that it has so far lacked. The final hurdle for the project would be whether the planning approval survives each of the three Supreme Court challenges currently underway.

Lend Lease and its consortium partners would still face protracted and well organised community resistance. In the early months, this would focus on sit-ins to prevent the excavation of a huge cutting in the central part of Royal Park – the largest hole ever proposed to be dug in Melbourne.

Denis Napthine has misread the public mood and put all his eggs in one basket, making the tollway the cornerstone of his Government whilst Daniel Andrews has staked his reputation on reversing the hastily signed contracts. The tollroad may turn out to be a very large political hole. Continue Reading…

The mega-commute is driving us into an early grave

News.com.au: The mega-commute is driving us into an early grave. Charis Chang. 19 November 2014

Is it time we let go of suburban life?

Mega-commutes that eat up our time and patience, they could also be driving us into an early grave. So is it a sad fact of life that they’re here to stay?

In Melbourne, if you drive a car it is possible to travel 10 times further than someone taking the train or tram would travel in the same amount of time. At night, the difference becomes even bigger, when road congestion eases and public transport becomes less frequent.

In the lead up to the Victorian state election, Melburnians are being promised shorter commutes as part of the East West Link project spruiked by the Napthine Government. The cross-city road connection with twin 4.4km tunnels running from the Eastern Freeway to City Link, could save motorists up to 30 minutes.

The Napthine Government has also promised 170 new trains, including 24 VLocity railcars for the V/Line network, as part of its $3.9 billion transport pledge.

Daniel Andrews has promised Labor will rip up the East West Link contracts as part of a focus on public transport, which would run 24/7 in Melbourne on weekends. Labor has also vowed to put $300 million into the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel.

The road and rail frustrations that Melburnians and commuters who live in regional Victoria face, are replicated across Australia. Continue Reading…

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