FRANK Merlino is waiting for a train that never comes. For more than 20 years he has served as a councillor in the outer-north municipality of Whittlesea, waiting hopefully as planners and politicians have talked up rail extensions for the patches of fresh suburbia sprouting beyond the reach of the Epping station.
The farce which is Pacific National spilled into the boardroom yesterday as the feuding directors of Australia's biggest private rail company spent more than 90 minutes in brutal disagreement over the minutes of their meeting last month.
The national rail regulator has warned against the $8 billion merger of Australia's two biggest freight companies, saying they have already abused a near-monopoly to lift the cost of carrying goods across the country.
Two days ago David Marchant was one of the men Toll Holdings wanted to run Pacific National. In his submissions to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Toll's plan to buy Patrick, Marchant lets us know exactly why he would not have taken the job.
Improved investment in transport is crucial to reshaping our suburbs, writes Trevor Budge.
Melbourne 2030 is like a three-legged stool: remove one of the key props and the whole strategy falls over. The Planning Institute of Australia, the professional planners' association with a national membership of more than 4000, has consistently supported Melbourne 2030 as a far-sighted and realistic long-term reshaping of metropolitan Melbourne.
SIX-AND-A-HALF years ago, when the Kennett government broke up Melbourne's inefficient public transport network and sold it to foreign private operators, Melburnians were repeatedly promised a system that would rival the best in the world.