Matthew Guy has announced today that if the Liberal National Party is successful come November, they will scrap the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL), a decision that will devastate communities in Melbourne’s outer east.
Rod Barton MP believes this decision is short-sighted.
Melbourne’s population is continuing to grow, expecting to reach a population of 9 million in 2056, the size of London today.
The SRL is critical to the future liveability of Melbourne. Without it, the outer suburbs will continue to get the short end of the stick.
Barton points to Doncaster in the city’s outer east to illustrate just how important the SRL is. Doncaster is located in the City of Manningham, which is the only metropolitan municipality that is not connected to rail, relying solely on bus services. This has resulted in overcrowded bus services, forced car ownership, high private vehicle usage, and extensive traffic congestion.
The City of Manningham has been waiting for over 130 years for rail services. This is despite governments repeatedly proposing and promising rail for Doncaster for decades. Residents are desperate to be better connected.
The SRL will be critical public transport infrastructure that will change the lives of those along the line, better connecting hospitals, universities, and retail. It is expected to take more than 600,000 car trips off the roads and freeways each day.
Barton fears that by not taking action to address connectivity issues now, Melburnians will be restricted to their cars for decades to come. Monash, the biggest university in Australia, would be left without any prospect of a train station.
We cannot let that happen. The SRL is an opportunity that must not be wasted.
Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Metropolitan and the Leader of the Transport Matters Party Rod Barton MP:
“When I saw this announcement, I thought; ‘why not both?’ Victorians deserve a functioning and effective health care system and accessible public transport.”
“I am very disappointed to see the Liberal National Party take this stance. It certainly seems short-sighted.”