In arguing for a busway to Mernda Yan Yean MP, Danielle Green, has played the tired old eastern suburbs versus the rest jealousy card in swinging criticism of Coalition government proposals for a rail service to Melbourne Airport and new rail services to Doncaster and between Huntingdale and Rowville (Whittlesea, Mernda, Doreen Star News 12 July). However, she missed the target.
According to the Member for Yan Yean a train to the airport would be just for tourists. Well, locals are tourists, too, and what of the thousands of airport workers that are forced to drive to and from work every day? It would also be the best way for most Melbourne residents to get to the airport.
Labor’s single “contribution” to Melbourne Airport public transport when in government (1999 to 2010) was to connect the 901 SmartBus to the airport via Broadmeadows station. And where is the 901 bus terminal at Melbourne airport? It’s between the Tiger Airways terminal and the freight terminals. The 901 SmartBus is not permitted to pick up passengers anywhere else in the airport precinct!
Airline travel through Melbourne Airport is expected to double in the next two decades. Residents of the City of Hume can do without increasing traffic jams in their neighbourhood. Bring on the airport rail service.
As for Doncaster rail, Danielle Green might like to take a look at the increasing traffic snarl on the Eastern Freeway. And the City of Manningham remains one of the few if not the only local government area in Melbourne without access to heavy rail services. The fact that the Doncaster Hill activity centre precinct was allowed to proceed without the development of commensurate public transport services is something of a scandal. Labor continually ducked the development of a heavy rail service to Doncaster and the extension of the 48 tram service.
As for Danielle’s quibbling over the Rowville rail extension, the fact is that a rail service should have been extended from Huntingdale ready for the opening of VFL Park in April 1970. The AFL has long since departed Waverley Park but there has been substantial population and business growth in the area since. Rowville rail will deliver Monash University students at the front door of the Clayton campus. And it will take significant pressure off the roads system, including the Monash freeway.
Danielle -It helps to have a look at the bigger picture before criticising individual public transport projects. And Mernda needs much more than a busway. As argued by the South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance, Mernda needs a rail service.