Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Make your vote count for public transport The Eastern Transport Coalition is urging voters in the Melbourne by-election to make their vote count for better public transport.

ETC Chairperson Cr Samantha Dunn said an integrated and effective public transport system was vital for Melbourne, and voters had the chance to make their priorities known by voting first for those candidates who put public transport first.

“Public transport has been underfunded and important projects like Rowville Rail and Doncaster Rail have been put in the too-hard basket for too long,” Cr Dunn said.

“In the past year, feasibility studies have begun for both these projects, which is a great start, but what we need is a commitment from the government to take the next step and build them.

“There will always be competing public infrastructure interests, such as the recently proposed East West Tunnel. However, these should not take priority over critical public transport projects which remain the most cost-effective way to solve the problems of our growing city.”

Several of the by-election candidates contacted by the ETC agreed that an improved public transport system was the most cost effective way to solve the problems of our growing city.

Greens candidate Cathy Oke, Dr Berhan Ahmen and Adrian Whitehead also agreed that Doncaster Rail and Rowville Rail were essential public transport projects for Melbourne’s eastern region, particularly as fuel prices continue to rise.

“The community needs to realise that building more roads does not relieve congestions – it only encourages more cars onto the road network. We acknowledges that there may be a strategic need for an East-West tunnel for freight, but only Doncaster Rail will actually reduce the number of cars using the Eastern Freeway,” Cr Dunn said.

“This means the centre median of the freeway, which was reserved for a rail line when it was constructed, must be retained. Without it, the opportunity for a Doncaster railway line may be lost to the community forever.”

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