May 7, 2014

Abbott misses the train on Metro

Melbourne commuters will be stuck with a second-rate Metro because of Tony Abbott’s absurd refusal to invest in public transport.

Yesterday’s Victorian state Budget proposes a Metro that is vastly inferior to the one envisioned when the former Labor Government agreed to allocate funding for the project.

The independent Infrastructure Australia rated the earlier, now dumped, proposal as Melbourne’s number one infrastructure priority.

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine’s proposed alternative will not even pass through the city’s central business district. It removes the proposed doubling of the city loop and will feature four fewer stations.

Properly delivered urban rail integrated with efficient roads would deliver genuine productivity gains for Melbourne while also boosting amenity and creating jobs.

Despite Mr Abbott’s pre-election promises of an emphasis on investing in infrastructure, Australians are now seeing evidence of his inability to match his words with his actions.

Meeting the transport needs of our nation’s big cities requires careful planning and co-operation between the different levels of government.

But Mr Abbott’s refusal to invest in anything other than roads will deny the people of Melbourne world-class transport infrastructure for the 21st century.