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State Budget a major disappointment for Victorians

08 May 2013

Traffic in local street

The State Government’s Budget is a major blow to Victorians seeking improved public transport to ease Melbourne’s traffic congestion, not more roads and freeways, Yarra Mayor, Cr Jackie Fristacky said today.

“Victorians had been duped into believing the Government was serious about public transport but once again we see major projects like the Melbourne Metro rail project, Doncaster Rail and Rowville Rail on the backburner,” Cr Fristacky said.

“The State Government is providing major funds for the east west road project when it does not even have a business case. Funding an $8 billion east west road link, misallocates Victoria’s resources for limited return.

"The project seeks to misappropriate the Doncaster rail reservation to widen the Eastern Freeway, undermining the commitment for construction of an eastern rail line to serve the Doncaster corridor.    

“The Melbourne Metro rail project which would provide the transport capacity equal to 100 lanes of freeway gets a token $10 million. This sends a clear message that the State Government is not serious about the public transport needs of all Melburnians, but is captured by sectional interests."

Cr Fristacky said Yarra Council vigorously opposed the east west road link.

“Melbourne’s future as an international city requires a 21st century public transport system to meet the huge demand for sustainable travel, and provide the basis for supporting productivity growth by reducing excessive transport costs for business and the community," she said.  

"Instead, Melburnians get disjointed, out of date planning, concrete, cars and pollution that will exacerbate congestion and sap the funds needed for vital public transport infrastructure throughout Melbourne. 

“This is not just about Yarra residents – the east west link will disadvantage every Melburnian who aspires to live in a city with improved public transport infrastructure.

“More than 80% of the 80,000 plus vehicles a day on the Eastern Freeway still seek to exit at Hoddle Street and other inner roads to reach their inner city destinations.  

“The east west road link will not help them and it will not reduce congestion. VicRoads itself has said in a report that a tunnel would significantly increase congestion on the road network, disrupt utility services and have a business impact.”

Cr Fristacky said improving public transport was the most viable, sensible and sustainable option for Melbourne.

“A Doncaster rail with effective feeder bus and tram services would remove 800 cars from the road per train -  800 vehicles stuck in traffic is equivalent to a single traffic lane spanning 3.7 kilometres.

“Travel time from Doncaster to the city by rail would take about 20 minutes – compared to over an hour by car in peak times.”

Cr Fristacky said Council would be holding a major rally against the east west toll road and in support of a Doncaster rail on Thursday 13 June at Fitzroy Town Hall from 6.30pm. The rally will be the official launch of Yarra’s “Trains not Tollroads” campaign with support from community organisations including the Public Transport Users Association.

Special Guest Speaker at the rally will be Alannah MacTiernan, Former Minister for Planning and Infrastructure in Western Australia talking about “Success in the West: How they got the 70-kilometre Mandurah Rail Line from the suburbs to the city for under $2 billion.”


For further information about the Trains not Tollroads launch on 13 June email trains-not-tollroads@yarracity.vic.gov.au or call Joanne Mulcahy on 9205 5142.


 

 


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