Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Our state government has failed us

Our State Government was partly elected by promising improved public transport. Three and a half years into its term of government, little seems to have happened. Not even the very specific promise of a train station at Southland on an existing line has happened. Ah, but a good bit of money was spent on Minister Louise Asher's bete noir for her constituents, http://highriser.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/close-gates.html

Suddenly six months short of an election, the government has made multi promises about improving public transport if they are re-elected. Sorry, it is all a little bit too late. The proof is surely in what the government has done, and from what I see, it is not much. The trains and trams are still very unreliable and terribly overcrowded.

The government is about to sign we citizens up to a multi billion dollar road project that may benefit a  trucking company, but few others really.

While I doubt it will be in my lifetime, eventually Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will be linked by a high speed train. Its point of departure will probably be Southern Cross Station and the train will initially head north west.

That is the same direction of the proposed Metro Tunnel, linking Footscray to St Kilda Road via the city by train tunnel (yes, some self interest here). It is also the same direction as the government's just announced airport train.

Pretty obvious really. Build an underground line from St Kilda Road to Footscray, then on to Melbourne airport and make is suitable for a high speed train to Sydney.

Melbourne is a large and growing city and spending money on huge road projects is not the way to go. The best cities in the world, that is cities people really like, have great public transport.


17 comments:

  1. Andrew, you are right a well-organized public transport is necessary in every big city.But in each country before elections there are a lot of promises but after the elections the members of parliaments forgot about it. It seems me is a typical custom all over the world.

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    1. That is quite true Gosia, but at the moment I remembering and reminding of promises made at the last election as we lead up to the next.

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  2. I read last week that Melbourne's population will have surpassed Sydney's within several decades. Governments should be thinking of needs well into the future but they tend only to think of the next election. How often do we make that comment?

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    1. Victor, I heard that too. Maybe because Melbourne has more room to sprawl.

      Yes, I certainly make that comment often.

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  3. I hear you. And I agree. Our public transport is fairly woeful. Buses only. Which run EXTREMELY reduced hours at night and on the weekends. It runs at a loss, and is the subject of much budgetary anxt. And it appears that no-one has considered that if the service was improved and extended that more people might use it. Sigh.

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    1. EC, one thing for sure, if it is not a frequent and fast service, people will not use public transport. Is the tram or light rail plan still up in the air?

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    2. Yes. Still mooted, but it will only service limited areas...

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  4. Sydney has a mixture of public transport private and government works most of the time but private is costly mainly the airport line and if there is a problem in the rail somewhere and it effects the airport bad luck they don't reimburse you, so you can still pay $14 for a ticket and still miss your plane.
    Merle........

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    1. Merle, having used the airport line in Sydney, it is terribly expensive. I thought it was more than $14, but I can't really remember.

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  5. Too little, too late might as well be the slogan that all our governments run on. States and Federal.

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    1. Too true River, although SA is not awash with cash to spend at the moment. The Abbott won't change that.

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  6. Hello Andrew:

    Prior to the recent general election we too had a flurry of activity with new landscaping around the Parliament and some refurbished parks. Now we see posters promising 37 [odd number, we think] new trams in 2015!!

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    1. JayLa, I wish you hadn't told me and I would have thought the work was done for my arrival! I suppose trams are very expensive items and so you would not order more than the exact number you need or perhaps that is just what was in the budget for new vehicles.

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  7. I can't be worrying about your transport system Andrew.. Everyone over there forgets Perth exists most of the time :) but I do agree about 'the Abbott' !

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    1. I haven't forgotten about Perth, Grace. It gets a mention in Friday's post.

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  8. aaah Southland station. Sans toilet!

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    1. Yep no lavvie, lovie.

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