Tag Archives: Labor Party

Melbourne, VIC: Glen Huntly traders push for crossing removal

16 Nov

The latest push to change the make-up of the Victoria Government’s programme to remove fifty level crossings in the Melbourne region is from the Glen Huntly Traders Association. They are arguing that the Glen Huntly Road level crossing, which divides the community’s shopping district, should be eliminated ahead of other less risky crossings that have made the removal programme.

There are clearly undercurrents that the Labor administration’s list of crossings to be eliminated is politically rather than risk-led. Indeed, this political drive is evident in statements that the make-up of the crossing removal programme will not change as delivery of the programme cited in the run-up to the 2014 state elections will be addressed by 2022 in order to deliver election promises.

Given the risks associated with a number of crossings exceeding those associated with crossings within the programme, maybe the objective should be to get them added to the programme without attempting to substitute these projects for others included in the current 50 crossings programme. However, there are questions of funding that are insurmountable meaning that it will be the 2018 election campaign that may see commitments to extend the elimination programme from 2022 to 2026.

Melbourne, VIC: Level crossings already a 2018 election issue

6 Aug

Victoria’s Labor administration is committed to eliminating 50 congestion prone and higher risk level crossings in the Greater Melbourne area predicated on them securing a second consecutive term in 2018 state elections. This in turn is predicated on them undertaking design and development within the first term for at least some of the 33 with elimination after the 2018 election.

Now, an opposition politician, speaking in favour of the timely elimination of the Buckley Street level crossing in Essendon has said that if the Labor administration has let contracts to grade-separate this crossing, then an incoming Liberal administration would follow through to complete the project. How many more such commitments will flow before the ballot in 2018?

Melbourne, VIC: Demolition presages level crossing elimination

27 Jul

The start of the level crossing elimination programme promised by Labor in the run-up to last year’s state election has begun. This is manifest in the weekend closure of the railway through Gardiner, Glen Iris, in Melbourne’s commuter belt, to allow partial demolition of Gardiner station and the planned lowering of the railway to pass under the heavily used Burke Road where there is at present a level crossing.

 Victoria’s Acting Public Transport Minister, Luke Donnellan, has said the weekend closure of the railway was the start of a project that will remove 50 dangerous level crossings over eight years, assuming that the party wining the next election in 2018 maintains the level crossing elimination programme promised by Labor.
There is broad support for level crossing elimination in the Greater Melbourne region as many of the crossings to be eliminated are the source of growing road traffic congestion as the railway system is used more intensively. However, for many, the level crossings need to removed to address the risk arising at the road-rail interface.

Wyndham, VIC: Council calls for level crossing elimination

20 Oct

Wyndham Council has released a report stating that level crossings in the municipality are safety risks and add to traffic congestion on the city’s roads, with crossing barriers down for up to 35 minutes in a peak hour. The report said the crossings were also making it difficult for emergency services to reach people in a timely manner. Traffic predictions going forward further highlight the need for the level crossing issues to be addressed sooner rather than later.

The council is now urging the Liberal and Labor parties to commit to grade separating the Werribee Street, Cherry Street, Old Geelong Road and Galvin Road crossings if they win the state election.

The council also wants to see extra road traffic lanes added to the existing grade-separated crossings at Derrimut and Forsyth roads and three new crossings added to the network to reduce the distance motorists need to travel to cross the tracks.

The Labor opposition is committed to removing 50 of Melbourne’s worst level crossings whereas the current Liberal administration is far less ambitious. The State elections are taking place in November 2014.

Melbourne, VIC: Taxi driver helps make the case for crossing removal

19 Oct

BxxQeGvIYAAF8FjVictoria Labor Party leader Daniel Andrews was handed an example of why level crossing makes perfect sense while campaigning at a level crossing in Fairfield, an inner-suburb of Melbourne. A taxi driver became stuck on the tracks as the barriers lowered for an approaching train, the driver of which saw the obstruction and brought his train to a stand short of the obstruction.

The message that opposition leader Andrews was trying to get across to vote ahead of next month’s state elections was that only Labor has a credible plan to eliminate the 50 most dangerous of the level crossing that bring congestion and blight the greater Melbourne area.

Laverton, Victoria: Opposition leader pledges another grade-separation

2 Oct

Daniel Andrews, leader of the labor Party in Victoria has pledged that if Labor wings power in November’s state elections they will grade-separate the level crossing on Aviation Road in Laverton, located west of Melbourne. This latest pledged grade-separation further raises the temperature as the current incumbent and opposition parties appear to vie with each other on the number of greater Melbourne’s level crossings will be eliminated dying the course of the next parliament. At present the Aviation Road grade-separation is a conceptual lowering of the railway to retain the present street level when the grade-separation is complete.

Kororoit Creek Road and Ferguson Street level crossings in Williamstown North have also been slated for elimination of Labor wins next months state election.

Melbourne, VIC: Level crossings a significant election issue

16 Sep

With 180 level crossings in the Melbourne area, Victoria has major issues of road traffic delay and safety as well as a looming need to increase the train service. With a few high profile grade-separations underway, big ticket prices are evident and can be seen as honouring the present administration’s election commitment.

Now with state elections at the end of November 2014, the Labor party has pledged to sell or lease the Port of Melbourne an use the funds to eliminate 50 level crossings. Even at Labor’s own estimate, the total cost is estimated to be between AUD5-6 million based on an average cost of between AUD100-120 million for a grade-separation. The present administration’s view is that this underestimates costs and says that the cost will be around AUD8.5 billion.

Attractive as grade-separation is, there is no certainty that the proposed disposal of the Port of Melbourne will realise the necessary funds suggesting that the Labor proposal will founder at some point along the way over the anticipated eight-year programme to eliminate 50 crossings. With an election due after four years maybe a funding gap would hit during the administration after next. If this is the case Labor may only have a 50% chance of forming this administration and therefore the problem may not be their’s!