Victoria’s trains are clearly routinely overcrowded, and yet Transport Minister Peter Batchelor is sitting on his hands. The Victorian Government has invested next to nothing on improving our rail transport infrastructure, yet they have spent over $360 million on the Craigieburn Bypass and have completed a $2.5 billion tender to build the EastLink tollway route through Melbourne's east.
Motor vehicles are not the answer to Melbourne’s and Victoria’s transport needs as they require the use of petroleum-based fuels, which Australia will run out of in the not too distant future, and they just clog up our city. The Bracks Government’s priorities are wrong, partly because they have not developed an integrated transport strategy instead of just building more roads, and because they are out of touch with what the public wants.
Now we hear from Mr Batchelor (Age 5/1) that our already overcrowded trains will “still be safe” when we cram in more hapless commuter sardines, despite the lack of a maximum safe passenger load specified for trains. Wake up Minister, we need more trains, more tracks, a more frequent and better integrated service and some forward planning. Instead we are just getting more roads and more ticket inspectors. Public transport is looming as a big issue for 2006 State election. Perhaps this will sharpen the Bracks Government’s focus.
This was submitted as a Letter to the Editor to The Age