Does Tony Abbott really think Victorians will accept that black is white? That the best way to fund public transport expansion is to not fund it? More specifically, to pull all federal funding out of urban public transport on spurious ideological grounds and pour money into competing road projects instead (“Tony Abbott backs East West Link to make rail ‘easier’“, theage.com.au, 14/3)?
Because the bulk of public revenue goes to the Commonwealth, major road/rail projects have always required a mix of state and federal funding. If the Commonwealth withholds funding, that usually spells death for a desperately needed state project.
The East West Link panel is hearing evidence that the road will not have a sustained improvement on traffic congestion but will add to traffic levels in the suburbs. Victorians fed up with congestion should demand the Premier cancel the project, thus freeing up the money for desperately needed public transport.
Tony Morton, Public Transport Users Association
— Published in The Age, 15/3/2014