Public transport projects to be cancelled

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system improver
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Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by system improver »

The Coalition has finally released its costing documents. The news is not really "new", but it does consolidate and starkly show what public transport advocates have feared:

4.33 Do not proceed with Melbourne metro rail
4.34 Do not proceed with Cross river rail
4.35 Do not proceed with Perth urban rail public transport
4.36 Do not proceed with Tonsley park public rail transport project
4.37 Do not proceed with Airport rail planning


Mr Abbott has said that public transport is not in his "knitting". In Victoria at least, it doesn't appear to be in the "knitting" of the Coalition State government either. Having promised to "fix the public transport mess" before the last state election, with studies for Doncaster, Rowville, Airport, Mernda and other rail projects, all of these have now been "planned to start" towards the second half of this century (they say it with a straight face too). The only project that will receive funding will be a 4km road tunnel to enable the good citizens of Balwyn to save five minutes on a trip to the airport - at a cost of $6 to $8 billion. That's more than has been spent on public transport extensions in Melbourne in the 80 years prior to the start of Regional Rail Link.

There are many "federal" system governments in the world, where states or provinces have significant their own government to fund local services. They include, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and the US. However, in every case, their federal government makes a major contribution to public transportation infrastructure. A Coalition government will make Australia the only country which does not.

The latest editions of Transit Australia contain photos of Gold Coast Light Rail, Regional Rail Link, the Adelaide electrification and Perth rail projects. These projects, funded both Commonwealth and State governments through debt, like every other major transportation project throughout the world, now and in the past, look set to be the last for however long the Coalition remains in power. As someone who would like to see the public transport system improve throughout Australia, I can only hope that they change their "knitting" sooner rather than later.
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by Mr OC Benz »

Firstly, I will say I have fairly conservative right wing political view. But we are at a time where we are all trying to do our bit for the environment, find sustainable ways of moving people more effectively than in cars, and reduce congestion and the economic, social and environmental cost of it. Building more roads for cars isn't the answer. We all know that buses, light rail and heavy rail can carry passengers more effectively than in a car and we are already too late, but we need to get out of this car loving, sprawly suburb loving attitude, it is not sustainable and is becoming more expensive to maintain for less people than what denser inner city environments could do the same job for.

Luckily in WA, our Liberal-National state government has been very conservative but supportive of public transport projects since coming in 2008/9 (very unusual for a Liberal government I know!), as they too have come to the realisation that we can't keep on living the way we are (well it took a couple of years, which as a result, our rail system is struggling to cope with capacity, but now with the new deliveries coming, hopefully we can play catch-up with demand). This is why we are now forking out billions of dollars (digging ourselves into deeper debt) to fund rail projects and public transport regardless if there is private investment or more federal government funding. There is no doubt about it that it is vital, and the longer it is left, the more expensive and complicated it will be in the future.
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by lunchbox »

It's disappointing that this topic hasn't attracted more discussion. A reflection of the readership's profile, I suppose. What web-sites are there where these "bigger" issues are thrashed out?
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by PoweredByCNG »

Isn't it great to see that our politicians are still stuck with a 1950s mindset? :twisted:
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by laptop15 »

Well blame the idiots who voted for them
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by Daniel »

Interested to hear 1whoknows' take on all of this, must be internal turmoil for all the die hard Liberals with an interest in public transport.
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by 1whoknows »

I think young Zac (Mr OC Benz) has got it about right in his post above.

Today in Vic the State Government announced it had achieved an extra $316m surplus in the budget. That's what can be achieved by good public sector management - something not achieved in NSW since the arrival of the rum corps over 200 years ago.

It would be nice to see at least some of that Victorian surplus go towards transport initiatives - maybe speeding up the level crossing replacement scheme which would assist many bus routes at places like Clayton or even building the alleged station at Southland - just to name a couple of possibilities.

It would also be nice if the loony green left (who make approximately the same contribution to politics as paedophiles do for child welfare) would stop wasting police resources by protesting against the much needed east-west tunnel. Maybe the savings on overtime there could be put into tram service improvements for the inner north.
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by Mitch »

Doesn't the VIC government want whoever runs Southland Shopping Centre to pitch in however much money to fund Southland Station as well?

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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by Hornibrook »

Agreed that the Coalition has gone a bit too far in its cuts.

I personally believe there should be a relatively fair split of funding between the two - as it would be catastrophic to neglect either road passengers or public transport users.

So the point that Government's should fund public transport over improved roads is a little ill-conceived, as without improved roads the majority of us are going to continue to suffer stuck in traffic - and remember too that buses use roads as well :P
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by 08 XDi »

lunchbox wrote:It's disappointing that this topic hasn't attracted more discussion. A reflection of the readership's profile, I suppose. What web-sites are there where these "bigger" issues are thrashed out?
Skyscrapercity for one - http://www.skyscrapercity.com/forumdisplay.php?f=65

A lot of people fleeing the flaming wreckage of Railpage ended up over there (myself included).
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by lunchbox »

After the Brisbane G20 world leader summit, Tony Abbott has been found dragging his feet on climate change. A new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers is likely to see him similarly embarassed on funding of public transport.

"Rail Express" says -
“The introduction of public transport to expand access to labour markets accelerated and enhanced the already strong growth in the (Epping - Chatswood) area,” the analyst said in its new report, Better Public Transport, Better Productivity.

“Macquarie Park was one of the fastest growing economies prior to the opening of the Epping to Chatswood Rail Link. Part of this is due to movement and decisions made by firms upon commencement of construction to locate to the area.

PwC also recommended “all decisions on transport investment by both federal and state governments are underpinned by rigorous, transparent cost-benefit analysis”.

[b]“Federal transport funding should be modally-neutral and support both road and public transport infrastructure projects based on the outcomes of cost-benefit analysis and the needs of the modern economy,” PwC concluded[/b]
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by moreton »

Bat Tunnel Project in Brisbane, running buses and trains in same tunnel, is set to fall, only one in favour it are pollies mates that build tunnels, no real value of running trains against buses on same routes.
Politicians and public transport should not be used in the sentence.
Many good people that know about running public transport, specially buses have been thrown to wolves over the years, anyone with vision is also been sacrificed on occasions.
Some imports from overseas have great ideas, but when you check their past projects, see the messes they left behind you know why they left their previous positions to move on quickly.
If you want to see efficient use of public transport there are plenty of good examples around the world, sadly here in Australia the workers need to get to work has changed quite dramaticly over the last 25/30 years. Most manufacturing is all but gone overseas.
The only reason buses run in Brisbane is to support the many overseas and local students get to and from studies, work and home. So pouring taxpayers money into providing concession travel to does not get many votes at election time. Recent bad weather in Brisbane gridlocked the whole city on each occasion, electric trains do not run in water, boom gates were all down so buses could not move on gridlocked roads, traffic lights out, power outages etc. 3 times in last 3 weeks. At present the government is playing adds, TV and radio, bill boards stating that rail passengers get delivered 96% on time,(except when it rains, it is 100% failure) no mention of bus passengers at all, how does that go down with all the bus operators? Moreton :wink:
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by 1whoknows »

So Victorians went to an election with a choice of two cbd rail projects and a major freeway proposal. And we ended up with...er...none of the above! Howzat again?
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by crazyturbo76 »

Mr OC Benz wrote: Luckily in WA, our Liberal-National state government has been very conservative but supportive of public transport projects since coming in 2008/9 (very unusual for a Liberal government I know!), as they too have come to the realisation that we can't keep on living the way we are (well it took a couple of years, which as a result, our rail system is struggling to cope with capacity, but now with the new deliveries coming, hopefully we can play catch-up with demand). This is why we are now forking out billions of dollars (digging ourselves into deeper debt) to fund rail projects and public transport regardless if there is private investment or more federal government funding. There is no doubt about it that it is vital, and the longer it is left, the more expensive and complicated it will be in the future.
I have noticed a similar pathway with our Liberal/National coalition government here in NSW... although Aunty Gladys and Uncles Barry and Mike have had a fair few political setbacks and failures, they have at least poured a bit of money into improving our now faltering PT network-the first new suburban trains for Sector 1 since the Tangaras 26 years ago, extensions to our train and Light Rail networks, helping fund new buses for operators (yes, I know, this started during the last Labor tenure), and also rolling out a smart card system, this time successfully (unlike the Tcard dilemma).

Despite all this stuff I am still a devoted left-wing (Labor) supporter, and there has been a few setbacks with Aunty Gladys' transport overhaul mission-especially the one considering the loss of four operators to new MBSC contracts. Nevertheless I am overall pleased with how the Coalition has decided to revamp the PT network.
PoweredByCNG wrote:Isn't it great to see that our politicians are still stuck with a 1950s mindset? :twisted:
A 1950s mindset is simply what has cost NSW our once large tramway network, our double deckers (the DGT had been long attempting to get rid of conductors before the Atlantean dispute due to a loss in patronage), and our country rail network (yes, maybe that doesn't fall into a 50s mindset but the words "Beeching Axe" did exist during the 60s, so the whole process with slashing country rail services could be seen as similar to the Beeching Axe).
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by Bedford-29 »

You can blame the NSW state governments and the NRMA for losing the second largest tramway in the Southern Hemisphere (Sydney) at the time and replacing the trams with DD and SD buses that would not cope with a growing city like Sydney.
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by moreton »

BAT Tunnel project in Brisbane has been canned along with a few other projects due to Federal funds being pulled. Moreton :wink:
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by 08 XDi »

Good. BaT was a disgrace and should never have gone further than the beer coaster it was spawned from.
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by Tonymercury »

moreton wrote:BAT Tunnel project in Brisbane has been canned along with a few other projects due to Federal funds being pulled. Moreton :wink:
And the source for this?
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by CityRail »

moreton wrote:BAT Tunnel project in Brisbane has been canned along with a few other projects due to Federal funds being pulled. Moreton :wink:
The LNP leader Lawrence Springborg, told the media on Sunday that the BaT Tunnel cannot proceed because Queenslanders voted against asset sale:
BaT tunnel plans scrapped (01:56)

With asset leasing "dead and buried", LNP plans for major projects like Townsville Stadium and the Bus and Train tunnel "can not go ahead".
Video can be accessed here: http://media.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/ ... 42197.html

It is still early days of 2015, and the Labor governments in Victoria has just started and will start in Queensland later this week (as Ferny Grove will become Labor and it is unlikely according to election experts that it will have a by-election), it is too early to say that such public transport projects are cancelled in Victoria and Queensland.

I believe as Bill Shorten is set to become our Prime Minister later in 2016 if the polls are right, he will sure this projects will become alive again due to availability and Labor plus the Greens' committment to public transport funding.

However, it will be interesting for New South Wales, as Mike Baird should retain government but I suspect he might not have the numbers in the Legislative Council. I am interested to know if the Poles and Wires sale cannot get through the upper house, whether Bill Shorten or Albo will become Mike's saviour to fund the second harbour crossing and various other light rail projects, such as the promised-then-scrapped-then-promised Parramatta - Epping Light Rail.
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by 08 XDi »

^ BaT is dead because the ALP have also said they refuse to proceed with it and intend to pursue the original Cross River Rail proposal the LNP canned. Based on what I have seen CRR should in fact be cheaper now than what BaT ended up costing. There's certainly no need to inflate the project cost by including a bus component just because they are afraid of reforming Brisbane's bus network.
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by moreton »

Cross River Rail also canned again 2017, Inland Rail also wheeled pout again for another season of Poliwaffling, the list goes on.
Moreton :roll:
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Re: Public transport projects to be cancelled

Post by tonyp »

08 XDi wrote:
lunchbox wrote:It's disappointing that this topic hasn't attracted more discussion. A reflection of the readership's profile, I suppose. What web-sites are there where these "bigger" issues are thrashed out?
Skyscrapercity for one - http://www.skyscrapercity.com/forumdisplay.php?f=65

A lot of people fleeing the flaming wreckage of Railpage ended up over there (myself included).
Interesting looking back over this thread. Now they're fleeing the flaming wreckage of Skyscrapercity Australian forum. The one light still burning bright (not as flaming wreckage that is!) among Australian transport forums is still ATDB, thank goodness.

Well we now have Turnbull instead of Abbott and, in spite of his rough rollercoaster political ride and generally disappointing performance, he's at least cranked open the door to federal public transport funding again.
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