The Maroondah Journal has reported on the Government’s retrograde step to split the Transport Portfolio into separate Public Transport and Roads components:
While Peter Batchelor was unable to handle the Transport Portfolio, as evidenced by delivering little more than broken promises and empty rhetoric, the separation of the portfolio could further hamper the Government’s ability to deliver the public transport projects that are required to mitigate rising traffic congestion and provide an alternative to rising petrol prices.
The Public Transport Users Association, which last year called for Mr Batchelor to be sacked, said the portfolio split could simply make the imbalance between road and public transport planning even worse.
“The move to split the portfolio seems to be a backward step,” PTUA vice-president Alex Makin said. “One of the key criticisms was the lack of integration between road and public transport planning, and this could worsen under the change.”
While it is encouraging that Peter Batchelor has been replaced by Lynne Kosky, Melbourne cannot afford continued inaction and delays to much needed public transport projects.
Lynne Kosky, as the new Minister for Public Transport, must commit to delivering the broken promises, such as the Knox tram extension, the Rowville rail line, the South Morang and Merna rail extensions and other projects such as the Doncaster tram extension and much upgrades to Ringwood Station, which were all left unfunded and forgotten by her predecessor.