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Geelong Branch Media Release

24/08/2001

PTUA Calls for Independent Review of Ring Road Study

The Geelong Branch of the Public Transport Users Association called for an independent review of the Geelong Ring Road Study last night, at the first meeting of the Community Reference Group. "It is crucial to the credibility of the study that all alternatives to the Western bypass are properly and fairly assessed, and that includes public transport improvements," said Tim Petersen, spokesperson for the Geelong Branch of the PTUA.

"It is very disappointing that while the study's terms of reference do ask whether a ring road is needed, they fail to specifically refer to the option of improved public transport." Mr. Petersen said presenters at the meeting also failed to mention Geelong or Victoria's responsibilities under the National Greenhouse Strategy, or the City of Greater Geelong's commitment under its own Environment Management Strategy to reduce car use and dependence.

"It is crucial that the study is independent, and is seen to be independent. It will benefit everyone if all ring-road sections, public transport options and travel demand management measures are fairly and critically assessed. Yet VicRoads, who have proposed the western bypass around Geelong for over 30 years, are performing this critical study for Geelong. The western route has been marked in the Melways for years, and VicRoads' recent upgrading of the freeway bridges over the railway line at Corio, is essentially building the start of the western ring road."

Mr. Petersen also said that the transport study for the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne was not being performed under VicRoads. "Even the Scoresby Freeway Environmental Effect Statement was not performed by VicRoads."

"Given that VicRoads has already been appointed, the least the study can do is to put in place a peer review process, to be reviewed by transport experts who are completely independent of VicRoads." Mr. Petersen proposed that the members of the Community Reference group would have the opportunity to nominate, and later choose the consultant to perform the peer review. "This would give the Community Reference Group, as the representatives of the Geelong community, a more genuine role in the process of assuring the independence of the study."

Contacts:
PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 24 August 2001