Friday, August 29, 2008

Speak out on Melbourne's transport crisis, urges Sir Rod Eddington -

by Ashley Gardiner

TRANSPORT expert Sir Rod Eddington has warned that Melbourne's congestion crisis will not be fixed if those who oppose his ideas dominate the debate.

Sir Rod last night called on those who would benefit to speak out.

"If we don't participate in the debate, then we shouldn't be surprised if we don't get what we want," Sir Rod said.

"The problem with the debate is, unless you're careful, the debate leads to complete inactivity."

Melbourne's transport problems would only be solved by investment in new infrastructure, he said.

"That is both expensive and disruptive," Sir Rod said.

"That means there will be people who will be disrupted, and it's tough for them, and they will quite rightly make their views known."

Sir Rod said that disruption had to happen to improve the situation, particularly in areas where transport connections were poor.

"If those who face disruption are vigorous in their complaint, and those who will benefit from all the things that (could be) done say nothing, then don't be surprised if the first group prevail."

The underground City Loop was a hugely disruptive project when built in the 1970s and '80s.

"I can remember it turned up the streets of Melbourne for quite some time," Sir Rod said.

"It was an essential and necessary part of providing a better life for everyone ultimately, but it does mean some people face temporary disruption."

Sir Rod was speaking at Monash University's annual Ogden Transport Lecture at the State Library last night.

Activists are already mobilising campaigns against the proposals made by Sir Rod this year.

They include a road tunnel linking the Eastern Freeway to the western suburbs and a rail link from Caulfield to Footscray.

Residents around Kensington are campaigning against the potential loss of a park that would be used as a works site during construction.

Opposition is also mounting in the western suburbs in areas where the link may be situated.

The State Government is nervous about the electoral implications of the projects.

Read the original article at

Funnily enough, I agree that people need to speak out, and I agree that Melbourne needs massive spending on infrastructure. I guess it's which infrastructure, and what people need to speak out about that we disagree upon.

Remember, email if you want to send your personal suggestions to the State Government.

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