Why change parties?
The Premier is desperate to redeem his government’s record on public transport. So desperate that he starts by citing the Regional Rail Link, an initiative of his Labor predecessors. It was a sad disappointment that the Coalition’s only original contribution to this project was an ineffectual review, which upped the budget but failed to remedy genuine flaws such as the lack of RRL platforms at North Melbourne station.
Victorians need not have changed their government in 2010 if the gains were going to be limited to incremental improvements such as new rolling stock and a handful of grade separations.
Inadequate as the Brumby government’s record was on public transport, its Victorian Transport Plan did include many such similar improvements. Indeed, the additional train and bus services for which Dr Napthine takes credit mostly date from 2011 timetable changes approved prior to the 2010 election.
This government was elected because it promised more: new train lines in Melbourne’s suburbs, restored lines in regional Victoria, and wholesale planning reform via Public Transport Victoria. Instead we’ve seen transport planning handed back to the road lobby, and not so much as one new station at Southland.
TONY MORTON, president, Public Transport Users Association