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Media Release


Bracks government drops Rowville/Monash rail line

The Public Transport Users Association today claimed that the Bracks government has reneged on its promise to extend the train system to Rowville and Monash University. PTUA president Dr. Paul Mees said that the Premier and Transport Minister accidentally confirmed the scrapping of the train line in a letter sent to outer east residents (at taxpayers' expense) last week.

Dr. Mees said: "Before the 1999 election, the Bracks government promised to reserve a route for a rail extension to Rowville. Following the government's somersault on the Scoresby Freeway (which it initially opposed), we heard rumours from within the bureaucracy that the government was going to drop plans for the train line."

"The letter from the Premier and Transport Minister (dated 11th September) confirms our fears. Instead of the promised train extension, they are now talking about "a possible light rail link" - i.e. a possible tram link. A tram to Monash and Rowville would be useless, because passengers would have to transfer to and from trains at Huntingdale station to reach the city. If evaluated, it will fail and therefore Rowville and Monash will be left with nothing. We were promised an extension of the train system." Dr. Mees said.

Dr. Mees said that the scrapping of the rail line cast serious doubt on the genuineness of the $1.5 million study of public transport announced by the Bracks government in the lead-up to the Aston by-election. "The study seems to have vanished. Local councils have heard nothing, as have local community groups. Meanwhile, we discover that the government has pre-empted the outcome of the study by abandoning the Rowville rail proposal. What on earth is going on?"

Dr. Mees added that the Bracks government's unwillingness to move on public transport contrasts unfavourably with the performance of the new Labor government in Western Australia. "Labor in Western Australia has moved to extend the highly-successful Northern Suburbs rail line, which is the model for the Rowville-Monash proposal, and is planning a series of new lines to serve areas of Perth that are remote from the rail system. But while Labor in Perth is forging ahead, the Labor government here seems to have become completely captive to the road lobby." Dr. Mees said.

PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 24 September 2001