2008 PTUA Transport Scorecard – Melbourne Lord Mayoral Election

First release 20 November 2008.
Updated 22 November 2008 following responses from Michael Kennedy and Shelley Roberts.

Summary (in order of ranking)

  • Adam Bandt—Kathleen Maltzahn: A
  • Joseph Toscano—Margaret Ely: B+
  • Robert King Crawford—Michael Kennedy: B
  • Shelley Roberts—Abdiaziz Farah: B
  • Gary Morgan—Michele Anderson: C+
  • Peter McMullin—Tim Wilson: C-
  • Catherine Ng—Terry Makings: C-
  • Gary Singer—Joanne Painter: C-
  • Will Fowles—David Wilson: D+
  • Nick Columb—Sue Calwell: D
  • Robert Doyle—Susan Riley: F


Scores are based on positions in published candidate statements, responses to PTUA questionnaires sent to every candidate, and candidates’ prior record on transport issues. Where candidates did not respond to our survey we have made best endeavours to locate published positions on issues.

When evaluating candidates’ positions on the Eddington road tunnel, we have taken into account (as many in the community have pointed out) that tacit support for the road can be disguised as opposition, when a candidate states they will oppose the tunnel “if it is found to adversely affect the community”. Such wording leaves open the possibility the candidate will support the road in future, based on satisfying their own unstated criteria of ‘no adverse impact’. We therefore seek positions from candidates unequivocally opposing the road tunnel.

For some candidates we were unable to identify any specific published position on our key issues. We have assigned these candidates a default ‘D’ rating.

Eddington Swanston St Car parking Trams and traffic Other PTUA’s rating
Robert Doyle—Susan Riley (Activate Melbourne) Supports road tunnel. Will reopen Swanston Street to cars. (This can only be done at the expense of trams, cyclists or pedestrians, or all three.) No specific position. However, general stance in favour of improving road access suggests would work to increase car parking availability. No strategy to improve tram travel times. Instead, policy to ‘reopen’ Swanston Street will likely impede trams further. Environment proposals limited to recycling, effectively ignoring greenhouse, air pollution and other pressing sustainability issues. F
Catherine Ng—Terry Makings (C Melbourne Grow) Opposes a road tunnel “adversely affecting the community”—leaving open the possibility of future support. No specific position identified: Ms Ng is the current Deputy Lord Mayor so may be presumed to support the status quo. Wants to “improve short-term parking arrangements.”
Given the current dominance of on-street parking on the streetscape, any increase in parking bays or easier access to parking is totally unnecessary.
The ‘short term’ wording has long been used to excuse expansion of car parking in general, and the undermining of public transport for non-work trips to the CBD.
Vague claims to “relieve city traffic congestion” and “improve traffic management and access to the City.”
Aspirational non-committal statement to “push for better public transport”.
“Support the introduction of rubber infill in tram tracks, removing a major hazard to cyclists.” Copenhagen cycling lanes would be a better alternative.
Incumbent Deputy Lord Mayor
“Introduce new Safe City Taxi Ranks…increase nightriders [sic] services”
Unclear if the new NightRider proposals are in addition to the new half-hourly frequency. If Ms Ng is proposing another increase in frequencies she is to be applauded.
“Make the City safer for cyclists and pedestrians: Push for 40km speed limit in CBD to protect pedestrians.”
Joseph Toscano—Margaret Ely (Shifting the Burden) The Eddington report and its tunnels are a “total waste of time and resources”. Cars, trucks and buses would be removed from the CBD, and Swanston Street made a pedestrian zone. Car parking in the CBD would be abolished, with the exception of dedicated parking for residents. Free trams. The “radical anarchist” ticket.
Supports “giving the whole CBD to bikes and free trams with provision made for delivery vehicles”. These policies would be pushed to the State Government through “citizen initiated direct action”.
Nick Columb—Sue Calwell (Passion for Melbourne) No stated position. Reopen Swanston Street to cars “on weekdays”.
Car-free on weekends.
No stated position. Cars on Swanston Street incompatible with speeding up trams. Wants underground station in Carlton.
Emphasises independence from State Government and John So administration.
Seeks to reintroduce ward-based representation.
Adam Bandt—Kathleen Maltzahn (The Greens) Steadfastly oppose the Eddington road tunnel.
Not convinced that rail tunnel is best use of money.
Refer to the ‘People Plan’ for suggested alternative projects.
Expanded PT must take account of residential amenity near train lines.
Absolute priority for trams. Other vehicles mostly banned except at night and early morning, as recommended by Nick Low at GAMUT. Relocate tour buses to edge of CBD. Consult on replacing the bitumen with bluestone, creating additional car-free streets and converting the bottom of Elizabeth St to open space. Address sustainable transport options before increasing car parking.
Cannot “ignore reality of demand for car parking” but “will resist moves to increase the number of car parks or lower the cost of car parking in the CBD unless we are convinced that revenue…is properly spent on sustainable transport”.
No intention of reducing overall level of income from car parking in CBD.
Traffic light priority for trams. No further reduction in tram stops.
30kph speed limit on all council roads in the CBD, and 30kph limits after 8pm on Vicroads-controlled roads. Dedicated bike and bus lanes in CBD, including additional ‘new generation’ bike lanes. Complete network of bike lanes in conjunction with neighbouring councils. Reinstate the Westgate bike punt. Abolish Mayoral car and improve efficiency of council car fleet. Develop car pool / car share schemes in city.
Abolish mayoral car.
Make City of Melbourne tourist bus cost-neutral.
“The Lord Mayor should also be the city’s #1 public transport advocate.”
Lobby Federal government to establish a $3.5 billion Capital City Public Transport Fund and reorient AusLink 2 funding.
Remove Kensington level crossing. Improve footpaths. Redirect parking levy toward sustainable transport projects instead of to subsidise tourism.
“I reckon I’m the only Lord Mayor candidate with a current monthly Metcard.”
Robert King Crawford—Michael Kennedy (Melbourne Supercity World) Opposed to the Eddington Tunnel. We believe that the initial presumption was ‘arse-up’, in that primary consideration should be improving the capacity and timeliness of public transport, better bike paths, and better pedestrian access. Building more roads only increases traffic, thereby necessitating more roads, etc. Should be closed to all traffic, except for trams and pedestrians, and should be extended to Victoria Street. We would also consider closing all or part of Bourke Street. We believe that there is an excess of car parking in the CBD and that better public transport, bike facilities, and pedestrian access will further reduce the need for car parking. Furthermore, we support an increase in metered car parking and a reduction in the number of ‘all day’ car parking.

Positive, but plays into the ‘short term parking good, long term parking bad’ mindset which has undermined public transport use for non-work trips into the CBD.
Trams should have priority at traffic lights and be separated from other traffic.
We believe that the east/west tramline gap in Victoria Street (between Swanston and Latrobe streets) should be ‘tracked’, thereby allowing a direct non-CBD public transport connection between the western and eastern suburbs.
Colourful, quirky showbiz personalities.
We support the separation of all modes of transport. Dedicated tramlines, Copenhagen lanes for cyclists, the removal of the Kensington rail crossing, and pedestrians separated from them all.
The CBD speed limit should be 30kph in the ‘little’ streets and lanes, and 40kph in all residential streets.
We would close Alexandra Pde, from the Swan Street Bridge to Anderson Street, to cars.
We support the extension of the underground railway.
We support the building of a monorail to Melbourne Airport.

Neither Bob nor I [Michael] have drivers’ licences or own cars. Both of us use public transport.
Shelley Roberts—Abdiaziz Farah (Residents Equity) The tunnel and more roads are not the answer.
Confirms opposition to the road tunnel, strongly supports a reduction in car usage and opposes alienation of parkland for road works.
We note though that the How-to-vote card favours fence-sitters Gary Singer and Peter McMullin and tunnel supporter Robert Doyle ahead of tunnel opponent Adam Bandt.
Dedicated, separate lanes for pedestrians, bikes and trams on Swanston Street.
Extend to Victoria Parade. Delivery vehicles confined to early mornings only. No buses, taxis or horse drawn vehicles; continue the ban on private cars.
More car parks = more cars, I would rather invest in community infrastructure, than build more car parks.
I would support a reduction of street parking if it provided greater amenity to the people of the city by providing safer pedestrian areas or bike lanes, however each area needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis, parking needs to be available for delivery of goods to businesses and residents.
Trams to have priority, after all they move 100+ people, while generally there are only one or 2 people in cars. Free, 24 hour public transport.
Concerned mainly with social equity, crime and lower rates.
Council approved art spaces in Swanston Street and elsewhere.

I have not owned a car for the last 10 years and travel everywhere by public transport, indeed when I visit my sister who lives in Berwick; I travel by train, likewise to my friend who lives in Williamstown, I also have a friend in Hepburn Springs, I travel by train either to Ballan or Castlemaine, why, has the train line not been re-opened to Daylesford?

Gary Singer—Joanne Painter (Team Melbourne) Equivocal on the Eddington road tunnel. “I will actively oppose any development that negatively impacts civic amenity” but “I will support development that can be shown, via independent assessment, to improve our city.” Leaves plenty of wiggle room to back whatever the State Government wants. Will extend Swanston Walk to Victoria Parade and ban cars and taxis. Recognises that Swanston St has “among the highest foot traffic of any main street in the world”. “We will not, as Robert Doyle would, turn Swanston Street back into a main road.” Supports an increase in the amount of car parking as “people will use cars”, and wants to increase utilisation of car parking during off-peak and weekend periods, which effectively means increasing the amount of inner-city travel made by car. Separate bike and tram lanes, but “increase car flow along designated streets”. (Seeking to revive the flawed ‘city bypass’ scheme?)
Supports the mad Yarra Trams scheme to terminate all trams at Domain Interchange and Melbourne University and run shuttles between these two points. Supposedly having fewer larger trams running through the CBD will speed up trams by removing tram queues (which are actually caused by hostile traffic lights).
Work toward public transport concessions for overseas students.
Relocate taxis to improved taxi ranks off Swanston St.
Endorses the actions and stance of the incumbent Council.
Will promote public transport to the State Government by making a lot of noise about it. But “We still have control over the roads, lanes and streets in our municipality.”
Will Fowles—David Wilson (Fowles a Fresh Vision) No comment on tunnel. Wants to “make Swanston Street a green transport corridor—limited to trams, bikes and pedestrians”
but also says he will
“Work with Swanston Street traders to develop appropriate access for service vehicles to ensure business is not affected”
Direct contradictions, and unclear how these competing policies could co-exist.
No stated position. Traffic light plan (see below) claimed “…will stop intersections getting jammed up by cars waiting for pedestrians to cross (often against the red man), and increase the efficiency of tram super-stops.”
Focus on “cars” – no reference to buses or bus lanes, or trams as distinct from the super-stops.
“Introduce 3-phase traffic lights:
Phase 1—east-west vehicles;
Phase 2—north-south vehicles;
Phase 3—pedestrians in all directions.”
No focus on public transport priority, and increases pedestrian waiting time, as crossing currently occurs at phase 1 and 2. Pedestrians potentially will be forced to wait twice as long, diminishing the position of pedestrians in the mobility hierarchy.
Pedestrians potentially further marginalised by encroachment of advertising hoardings, and the transfer of public pavements and laneways into quasi private commercial space as “…will abolish the permit system for footpath trading.”
“Develop a cyclist hub with safe storage, change facilities, breakfast-on-the-go cafés and cycling-specific retailers.” Positive idea if location appropriate and low-cost.
“Develop a mass bike rental program to get commuters, short-trippers and tourists on bikes and out of cars.” Positive idea.
“Double the existing bike lane network.” But no mention of Copenhagen lanes or differentiation between on-road and off-road cycle lanes, but says in ‘Safer Streets’ policy:
“Invest in clear, safe zones for cyclists and pedestrians – including dedicated bike lanes and a central tram median strip”.
Peter McMullin—Tim Wilson (Melbourne’s Future) Wants “improved east west connections for freight and other traffic…but not at the expense of our parks…or public transport”. Suggests may cave in to State Government support for the road tunnel. Position on Swanston Street is equivocal. “The biggest failure of Swanston Street is that haphazard decision making over the past 20 years has resulted in no one really knowing what it is anymore or who can use it. Swanston Street is the cities central axis and should be a continuation of the wonderful boulevard that we have in St Kilda Road. It does not need to have regular traffic reintroduced 24 hours a day but it could be cleaner, safer and more attractive. We should learn from what we have done with the laneways and apply it to Swanston St. With that aim in mind the city needs to work with all the stakeholders to ensure we can achieve that aim.” Better than the troglodyte ‘bring the cars back’ position but overall position is unclear. Appears to support increased car parking on the basis that “for some people driving is a necessity” and “not adding additional burdens to people in our society with limited choices”. Excluding The Greens, Mr McMullin probably has the most sensible answer on the problems of tram movement: “As the City of Melbourne does not control all the factors that impact on trams’ speed there is no one single answer other than a street by street assessment of each thing that slows a tram down and the development of a detailed plan that outlines what each agency can do to remove blockages.” In other words, unlike other candidates it appears Mr McMullin is not prepared to jump on bandwagons from an ill-informed perspective. ALP affiliated.
Supports a target of 90% of work trips to the city by public transport, bikes or walking by 2020. Represents a modest increase over present situation.
McMullin will work on the State Government using his personal networking clout.
Gary Morgan—Michele Anderson (Morgan Clarke Our City Your Council) Will work to “stop the Eddington road tunnel”. Will extend pedestrian zones. Claims to want to “Reduce infiltration of commuter traffic in residential streets” but incompatibly promotes “…’Park and Drive’ options on perimeter of City to reduce commuter traffic”.
Given the Melbourne City is richly served by public transport, any policy that induces traffic to further clog the inner-city streets of Kensington, Parkville, Carlton, East Melbourne and South Yarra is nonsensical. A policy designed to avoid the CBD parking levy and destined to litter the inner city with massive car parks.
Opposes extension of parking meters in Errol Street.
No position on tram priority or speeding up trams.
‘Park and drive’ scheme may increase traffic levels, slowing trams further.
Oppose ‘overhead rail bridge in Docklands’. Put Webb Dock rail line in tunnel instead.
Will implement traffic control in Gatehouse Street, and attempt to reduce through traffic in residential areas in general. May be incompatible with proposed ‘park and drive’ scheme, which will encourage higher traffic levels.
“Extend current Safe City Taxi ranks from 3 to 10 locations”
“Provide more and safer bike lanes” and “Implement growth in ‘Bikes as Transport’ strategy”
“Upgrade Flinders St Station in collaboration with State Government…enclosing the platforms…”

The PTUA Candidate Survey

Lord Mayoral candidates were asked to respond to the following six questions.

  1. Surveys indicate that of motorised travel into the CBD, 85% is by public transport and 15% by car. Non-motorised travel is also popular, with a sizeable number of people walking or cycling to the city. How do you view the place of the different transport modes, and what will you do as mayor to ensure the CBD maintains its premier role as a travel destination?
  2. What is your position on the recommendations of the Eddington report – specifically on the $8 billion east-west road tunnel and the $7 billion rail tunnel from Footscray to Caulfield? Is the East-West Link Needs Assessment overall an adequate response to the transport needs of Melbourne?
  3. Tram travel is an integral part of life in central Melbourne, but our trams suffer more delays than in almost every other city in the world, particularly within the City of Melbourne boundaries. What measures will you help pursue as mayor to reduce tram delays?
  4. What is your vision for Swanston Street? What do you see as its successes and problems, and what will you do as mayor to build on or address these?
  5. What is your view on the appropriate amount and cost of car parking in the CBD? What actions do you propose in regard to car parking in the municipality?
  6. Given many aspects of transport policy are outside local government control, how do you plan to work with and/or influence the State Government, other local councils and other stakeholders in support of your vision?

Responses received