Regional and Rural Victoria left out of the Victorian Budget

 

News article: Regional and Rural Victoria left out of the Victorian Budget

I read with considerable interest your article in the Rail Digest, June 2014 about rail infrastructure in Victoria in the 2014- 2015 Victorian Budget.

  Edith Chief Commissioner

Location: Line 1 from Porte de Vincennes bound for Bastille station
I read with considerable interest your article in the Rail Digest, June 2014 about rail infrastructure in Victoria in the 2014- 2015 Victorian Budget. 96% of the Victorian budget is being spent in Melbourne and 4% for Regional and Rural Victoria, there is much more to Victoria than Melbourne.

The Rail Revival Alliance has been advocating for the creation of the Regional Rail Link between Geelong, Ballarat, Maryborough, Castlemaine and Bendigo the largest regional centres in Victoria. The Minister for Regional Victoria, Peter Ryan trumpeted this at the 2010 election and then miraculously a consultant’s report stating it would cost $900 million appeared and the project was scrapped to get Peter Ryan of the political hook he had created for himself.
Regional and Rural Victoria left out of the Victorian Budget


Discussions of the budget are overly optimistic. They look at the complete list and say there is "balance". However, it is the roads that will be built first. While many public transport projects have been identified, they do not commence for two or so years. This is plenty of time for a reluctant government to find reasons to delay them further.

The Metropolitan Network Plan talks of major capacity challenges on all suburban lines in the next two years. The Metro Rail tunnel was the way to solve much of these. It was also identified as the precursor to the new lines to Rowville and the Airport. The Metro project was ready to go two years ago and had a high benefit/cost ratio (far higher than the East-West Freeway Link). After two years of inaction, it will be studied again and a less useful route selected. If you build the wrong project, you will never get around to building the right one.

I think we need to go back to the Infrastructure Australia approach and get the politics out of transport infrastructure planning. Identify all the projects, do the benefit/cost sums on each and then rank them in order on a list. Then apply the funding until you do as many as you can afford.

If we look at recent history in NSW and Victoria we see too much to and fro as plans are made and then unmade whenever a government changes.

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Discussions of the budget are overly optimistic. They look at the complete list and say there is "balance". However, it is the roads that will be built first. While many public transport projects have been identified, they do not commence for two or so years. This is plenty of time for a reluctant government to find reasons to delay them further.
Edith


I suspect this will be the case.  The Abbott and Victorian Coalition governments (Victoria in particular) will never invest in public transport and rail projects of any note.  It is all SPIN.  Do NOT be fooled people there is no intention of any of these projects getting off the ground.

For the record, I do not believe any of these projects will get off the ground, especially the Mildura Standardisation.


The Metropolitan Network Plan talks of major capacity challenges on all suburban lines in the next two years. The Metro Rail tunnel was the way to solve much of these. It was also identified as the precursor to the new lines to Rowville and the Airport. The Metro project was ready to go two years ago and had a high benefit/cost ratio (far higher than the East-West Freeway Link). After two years of inaction, it will be studied again and a less useful route selected. If you build the wrong project, you will never get around to building the right one.
Edith


Edith, this is perhaps the best example of a Government trashing a project which would have been of great benefit to the people and businesses of Victoria.   The East West Link ( can you confirm this) when to IA a number of times and was knocked back.  Probably on an informal basis.  This project is a disaster for Victoria in terms of design and price and has a HIGH opportunity cost attached to it.

One may say there needs to be a link, but the state cannot justify this project nor could IA.  The Linking Melbourne Authority (LMA) has already stated the traffic levels in Queens Parade area will be back at current levels, even after billions of dollars are spent, by 2021.  That is in less than 10 years.

What problem are we trying to solve?  Perhaps we need a different approach.

I sometimes wonder how the team who designed and packaged the Melbourne Metro Tunnel now feel having been made to look stupid by an under performing  Napthine Government?  This team would have put a lot of time and effort in to this package and it had the blessing of Infrastructure Australia (IA).

Politics sorry BAD politics got in the way of this well developed and designed project (Melbourne Metro Tunnel) and we now have an under developed and rogue project for an under ground rail link which in my view lacks reason for being and credibility. Much like Napthine and the current Victorian Liberal Party Treasurer who I despise immensely.

When will this state and perhaps this country be in a position where there are credible, high performing politicians who have the best interests of the state and the country at heart and mind and not themselves?


I think we need to go back to the Infrastructure Australia approach and get the politics out of transport infrastructure planning. Identify all the projects, do the benefit/cost sums on each and then rank them in order on a list. Then apply the funding until you do as many as you can afford.
Edith


The Abbott Government has already removed the head of Infrastructure Australia since taking office in November 2013.  IA was a sensible approach to managing large infrastructure projects.

Regards
Brian
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
One may say there needs to be a link, but the state cannot justify this project nor could IA. The Linking Melbourne Authority (LMA) has already stated the traffic levels in Queens Parade area will be back at current levels, even after billions of dollars are spent, by 2021. That is in less than 10 years.

What problem are we trying to solve? Perhaps we need a different approach.
bevans

The problem they are trying to solve is the inability of B-doubles and B-triples to access the Eastern Fwy and Eastlink.  It's purely about enhancing the road freight network, nothing to do with passenger vehicles (the majority of which are bound for the CBD).

Final costs will probably be in excess of $15 billion in my opinion - it will wipe any other infrastructure projects off the map for at least a decade.

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