Saturday, March 31, 2012

Story from Channel Seven news

Microwaved ideas?

An article in The Age about an East-West Link solution.  Sounds like the same meal served last time, although a little more stale and dried out.  

Read the article here -

Having been through it all before, many of the same arguments are coming up again.  Industry, RACV and some unions are backing.  Transport experts disagree, and a 'second source' suggests that the slightly revised strategy makes a mockery of Eddington's original ideas and
"Infrastructure Australia would no more put money into this than fly to the moon".

So what's changed?

Firstly, they're contemplating tunnel and/or above ground.  Well, that was something that was suggested last time too, for the continuation of the link west of JJ Holland Park - it's just noone really spoke about that.  (Well, we did, and our friends at No Tunnels in the West etc did).  But, it could have a significantly higher proportion of it above ground.

Secondly, they too suggest building in stages, however the first stage would be linking the Eastern Freeway to CityLink (Tullamarine Freeway).  (This is the aspect the 'second source' thinks is folly).

But most importantly for us, the political climate has significantly changed.

Previously, once they were made aware of the feelings for their constituents, the City of Melbourne were staunchly against the proposal.  We believe this was on a number of grounds, including the belief that this solution would in fact funnel more traffic into the city, as well as the loss of amenity for residents.  But now, The Age are reporting that the City of Melbourne have no "formal view".

Secondly, our Federal member was Lindsay Tanner, the then Minister of Finance, who needed to bankroll the link.  Now, it is Adam Bandt, who is staunchly against the prospect of the East-West Link on many fronts.

So what can you do?
If you are concerned, we suggest you contact the City of Melbourne and voice your opinion of the suggestions.  You may also want to contact Adam Bandt as your Federal Representative, and Bronwyn Pike as your State Representative, to provide your support for their oppostion (assuming Bronwyn Pike's view has not changed).

It seems ludicrous that the state government should build this 'major road infrastructure' just because their other ones are close to completion, when train line extensions, the metro tunnel, and even the potential for the Doncaster line and widespread removal of level crossings would greatly increase the movement of Melburnians in general, and actually help with traffic flow.