THE disappointing result for the Baillieu government in the latest Newspoll survey comes as little surprise if we recall the reason it was elected. Its promises included a clear commitment to fix public transport. The Coalition picked up a swag of seats along train lines that had hitherto been treated with indifference. There were promises to overhaul network planning, discipline private operators and build long-overdue rail extensions to public transport ”black holes” in Doncaster and Rowville.
Two years on, we fear the same defensive bureaucrats are running the show. Meanwhile, the government has run off on a wild goose chase after an east-west road link. However, no government has the money to build it and no private ”partner” will support it except on terms that magnify the destruction of parkland and funnelling of traffic into congested streets. The government can regain enough public trust to win the election, but it will need to stare down the road lobby and deliver on the public transport transformation it promised.
Tony Morton, president, Public Transport Users Association, Melbourne