The Age Letters: Talking to all the ‘right’ people

Right: Colleen Hartland (The Greens) and Julianne Bell (Royal Park Protection Group) at Fridays protest at Telstra Dome

The Age: Talking to all the ‘right’ people (September 8, 2008)

Premier John Brumby claims that we have been consulted over Sir Rod Eddington’s grand transport plan for Melbourne (Insight, 6/9). In the past month, eight transport forums — Clayton’s consultations — were held in country Victoria and outer suburbs, none in central Melbourne.

Then some Government MPs did their own thing and held forums. Carefully selected individuals and community groups were invited, but many were refused admission. ALP members did score invitations.

Forum facilitators ensured that controversial topics were not raised — such as Eddington’s $9 billion road tunnels through the inner city and elevated freeways through the western suburbs.

On Friday, the Premier evaded protesters waiting to present him with demands for sustainable public transport, slipping into his transport summit through the Telstra Dome car park. Not only is the Premier not properly consulting, but he also isn’t listening to the wider public on Melbourne’s transport fiascos.

Julianne Bell, convener, Royal Park Protection Group, Hawthorn

2 thoughts on “The Age Letters: Talking to all the ‘right’ people”

  1. Peter Deith says:

    I agree, the consultation process has been nonexistant. The ‘forum’ held by my local member, Marsha Thomson (Footscray) to discuss the EWLNA and Road Tunnel was by invitation only and was heavily weighted towards transport companies, clearly not a representative group from her electorate..
    The amount of community concern and distress today is a reflection of the poor communicaiton and consultation by our elected representatives.

  2. Fiona Spruzen says:

    THis whole process has been a debacle, with lack of detailed plans and consultation, disregard for climate change and increasing petrol prices and population.The front page of the AGE last week expressed concerns about the population increase in Melbourne and the validity of the Eddington Report, especially the Road Tunnel proposal. Combine the increase in population with the CSIRO’s prediction of $8/litre for fuel and it seems incredulous that the Road tunnel could be taken seriously. Pretty soon there will be all the spare capacity on our roads we need. The Road Tunnel, at a cost of $9 billion, is an exorbitant price for little long term advantage. The Government could buy a number of new trains, or track upgrades etc for $9 billion. Lets hope sanity and common sense prevail!

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