Melbourne’s southeast viewed the End of Suburbia with the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) hosting a free screening of the documentary in Noble Park.
With a large turnout and keen interest from the community Melbourne’s south east has been particularly hard hit with rising petrol prices which are causing further strains on household finances.
The following comments were written as an opinion piece for the Springvale and Dandenong Leaders and served to introduce the film and need for fast, efficient, direct and readily available public transport in Melbourne’s rapidly expanding southeastern suburbs:
Public Transport campaigner Alex Makin says the State government has missed the bus when it comes to serving commuters:
Public transport in Dandenong fails to meet current needs and is therefore abysmally inadequate to serve Melbourne’s fastest growing urban area.
One in ten Dandenong residents do not drive and yet public transport in the form of bus services, often fail to operate during evenings or on weekends.
Bus services have not been holistically restructured since their inception and as a result many journeys are convoluted and simply uncompetitive with car travel. The minimum standards for buses, which are to be introduced by the government, are still woefully inadequate.
While a bus in Dandenong may – in four years time – run to an hourly schedule, this is nothing compared to what is offered in suburbs such as Toorak or Malvern which enjoy frequent public transport seven days a week through to midnight.
Rail services on the Dandenong line, serving the growing areas of Pakenham and Cranbourne, have the worst frequencies compared to the rest of Melbourne. Nowhere else do people need to wait up until an hour for a train.
With rising petrol prices, Dandenong needs now more than ever a public transport system that is direct, frequent and readily available.
Dandenong and the southeast should expect nothing less. Residents must demand better.