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Council says no to new train line plan

10 Jun 2014

Council says no to new train line plan Image

By Sean Rogasch

The City of Melbourne has prioritised Parkville residents and visitors above those in Southbank when it comes to public transport.

The council last month put its support behind the original Melbourne Metro train line plan, not the new Melbourne Rail link, launched in May’s State budget.

The Melbourne Rail link includes two stations to service Southbank – underground near the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and at Domain interchange – but the council has clearly stated it believes the Melbourne Metro plan is superior for its needs.

Melbourne Metro included five new metro stations in Arden, Parkville, CBD North (at Melbourne Central), CBD South (at Flinders St) and at Domain.

A motion to support the old plan was carried unanimously and commented on by seven of the 11 councillors at the May council meeting.

Speaking for the motion Cr Cathy Oke said council’s City North and Arden McCauley structure plans had relied heavily on the implementation of Melbourne Metro.

“We need to be strongly advocating for the original Metro rail (Melbourne Metro) and not the one that’s been put forward this month (in May),” Cr Oke confirmed.

Cr Oke also pointed out that the old plan was vital for the city’s progress, saying: “It is central to our planning and central to future growth areas and current population within the City of Melbourne.”

Cr Richard Foster backed this view, saying: “Metro Rail is really the only conceivable option for a comprehensive public transport plan in Melbourne.”

Clearly the council had been frustrated with the lack of consultation on the changed rail plan.

Cr Foster said: “We need to point out that a lack of consultation in this leads to significant consequences for local governments.”

Cr Ken Ong also commented: “It would’ve been useful for the Government to consult with the CoM before the announcement of Melbourne Rail Link because it hasn’t appeared on our radar prior to this.”

Cr Aaron Wood said the new plan was a good project in its own right, but rail service to the Parkville area was more urgent.

“When we talk about current need, when we talk about Parkville, when we talk about the huge medical precinct, when we talk about the university precinct, some 40,000 students, as big as a city the size of Mildura, really that was what Melbourne Metro was all about,” he said.

The council motion also stated its need to: “Seek urgent talks with the State Government seeking details of their alternative transport plans.”

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