Tuesday, April 29, 2014

East West Link planning process leaves Melbourne's public in the dark

the age : "In Victoria, the East West Link business case is being treated as a state secret. It has been hidden from the public and Assessment Committee alike. Documents obtained under freedom-of-information legislation disclose the strong criticisms made by consultants of the methodology used to produce a positive financial return.

The inclusion of “wider economic benefits” delivering over 40 per cent of the claimed return has been widely criticised. No justification has been offered. Minimal information has been given about the tolls to be charged and the impact on driver behaviour.

The traffic modelling evidence is that congestion levels will be worse than the present within 10 years. One only has to observe the peak-hour crawl on CityLink or the Burnley Tunnel to see that the promise of new freeways delivering free-flowing peak-hour traffic is a mirage."

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Axe $13 billion in fossil-fuel subsidies

Greens | Adam Bandt: "The Greens today said a report from the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) makes clear that Tony Abbott can raise more than $13 billion without hurting vulnerable Australians.

The PBO report details how, by ending taxpayer subsidies to ‘big mining’ and the likes of Gina Rinehart, the Abbott Government wouldn’t need to go after pensioners, disabled people and Medicare, said acting Greens Leader, Adam Bandt."


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

East West Link faces Supreme Court challenge

the age : "The East West Link is set to be challenged in the Supreme Court, with the Napthine government accused of deliberately overstating the claimed benefits of the project.

In a case reminiscent of the movie The Castle, Brunswick resident Anthony Murphy and a team of senior lawyers will try to halt the tender process for the $6 billion to $8 billion project by arguing the state government has misled the public."

Friday, April 18, 2014

East West Link protesters march in down Sydney Rd

Picture: Andrew Henshaw Source: News Limited
Herald Sun: "ABOUT 1000 residents took to the street on Sunday afternoon to again protest about the Napthine Government’s East West Link.

Protesters marched down Sydney Rd in the city’s north as part of the sustained opposition to the project, with Victoria Police shutting the northbound lane for the march."

Labor could tear up East West Link contract if it wins election

the age: "Should Labor win the November state election, there is no legal impediment stopping it from tearing up the contract for the East West Link if it is sincere in its opposition to the road project, experts in contract law and public policy say."

Monday, April 14, 2014

East West Link project set to carve trench through Royal Park

the age : "A trench several hundred metres long is likely to be dug through Royal Park, creating up to 12 months of major disruption to park users and damaging the landscape for up to 20 years, as part of building the East West Link."

Commuters want public transport, not motorways

Green Left Weekly: "The increasingly unpopular WestConnex is the biggest infrastructure project in Australia’s history. It will consist of a series of tunnels under Sydney's inner west to join the existing M4 to the city, the airport, Port Botany and the M5. This adds up to 33 kilometres of highway, with an estimated cost of $11.8 billion and a 10-year construction timeframe."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Money wasted on East-West Link would buy a lot of public transport

Herald Sun: "Campaign organiser Anthony Main said the group would take its pro-public transport message to Mernda this Saturday, April 12, as part of a outer suburban and regional tour.

Mr Main said it was “high time” Mernda — with its 50,000 residents — had a railway station. “Our concern is that if the East West Link is built it will suck funds away from projects like the Mernda rail extension,” Mr Main said.

“We want to see the tunnel scrapped and instead funds directed to communities like Mernda and Doreen that are starved of public transport options.”"

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Territorians paying more for transport than food and housing, NTCOSS report finds

ABC News : "The Northern Territory Council of Social Service (NTCOSS) has released its third Cost of Living Report, showing household transport bills have increased to $260 a week.

It blames the increase on the high price of unleaded petrol and the need for remote households to travel long distances for essential services."

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Car dependency has people begging for more car dependency

Braddon customer parking relief on the way: "Canberra Business Council chief Chris Faulks said the area's booming popularity and construction works had put such a squeeze on car parking that the government needed to step in.

''While we support the ACT government's promotion of public transport and active transport into the future the reality is that parking is critical for businesses to survive,'' she said."

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Can't have free trams, because people want them. Right wing logic.

Geoff Shaw slams free trams as socialism: "''I am just highlighting my concern about socialism,'' Mr Shaw said. ''I catch trams. Around the city they are already pretty full. I do not know how we can encourage more people to use trams now that they are free. A user pays system is probably more what I am after.''"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

East-West tunnel is a disaster three ways: financial, social, ecological

Opponent of free public transport shoots self in foot!

The Urbanist: "Higher patronage generated by abolishing fares would increase operating costs and crowding without any offsetting increase in revenue. It’s inevitable there’d also be pressure to abolish fares in regional centres. The real cost to the state budget would be considerably higher than $650 million."
This boils down to: "we can't have free public transport, because.... uh, because... people want it."