ALP’S “Project 10000”, an important start, but not yet a plan

With their “Project 10000” document, the Victorian Labor Opposition has clearly listened to community demands for better public transport, but it risks everything with its weak position on the East West Link , the Public Transport Users Association said today.

PTUA President Dr Tony Morton said Labor’s pledge to remove fifty of the worst level crossings made a lot of sense. “Unlike an inner city traffic tunnel costing billions of dollars, this will benefit communities right across Melbourne, by streamlining train services and cutting delays for motorists.”

But this and all the other vital investments in PT are at risk if the ALP lets the $15 billion East West Link go ahead.

“The ALP must stand up against this fifteen-billion-dollar traffic factory, that is being forced on the Victorian public after they voted in 2010 to fix public transport.”

“The East West Link threatens to send this state hurtling backward at full speed to the 1950s and to turn us into Detroit,” Dr Morton said. “As long as the ALP leave wiggle room for the road lobby, there will be no serious money to rebuild a public transport system for the 21st century.”

“Napthine is acting in great haste and, however he might spin it, there is little chance that binding contracts can be signed by October. It is vital that the ALP makes it clear to business that it will do all it can inside and outside the parliament to prevent this mad and destructive waste of money from going ahead.”

“Project 10000” falls short of a comprehensive plan to fix Victoria’s transport problems, the PTUA said. “Our train network is falling apart, and it will take more than grade separations and one tunnel, to fix our public transport system. With traffic crippling the State, it is imperative that we have a 21st century public transport system when the alternative is an endless traffic nightmare.”

“What the community actually wants is a real choice between a multi-billion dollar traffic tunnel and the public transport alternative they voted for in 2010.”