The Eastern Transport Coalition has invited both the Government and State Opposition to detail its public transport policies, including their positions on projects omitted from recent announcements, prior to the November State Election.

ETC Chairperson, Cr Peter Lockwood said a number of public transport announcements had been made in recent months and while it was good to see the major parties responding to the community’s strong desire for better public transport, the timing and level of funding for some projects was still a cause for concern.

In order to clarify each party’s plans prior to the election, the ETC has invited Transport Minister Terry Mulder and Labor’s Shadow Transport Minister, Jill Hennessy to one of its upcoming meetings to explain its policies to the group, which represents around a million people in seven eastern municipalities.

“Now that the State Budget, Plan Melbourne and Project 10,000 have been released, voters have a much clearer idea of how the major parties see public transport being improved over the next 40 years,” Cr Lockwood said.

“One area where both parties have directed funding in the short term is the removal of some of the state’s worst level crossings, something voters have been crying out for.

“The ETC would like to see similar eagerness displayed by the major parties to build Rowville and Doncaster Rail, projects that have been on the drawing board for more than 40 years and who have already had resourced directed into feasibility studies.

“The current position of both parties in relation to these projects is inadequate and our own polling has shown that the majority of voters agree with this assessment.

“The government says they will build them in the long term, between 2025 and 2050, the ALP says they like the idea of long term planning but will review the plan.

“Doncaster and Rowville Rail risk becoming the most over reviewed and studied transport initiatives in the city’s history – and still a start date backed by funding is nowhere in sight.

“We would also like to hear both parties’ plans regarding the improvement of Melbourne’s bus network, which, for many people in the outer east is the only form of public transport near their homes.

“We hope that both parties will accept the ETC’s invitation to give more details about their policies prior to the election and to hear from local representatives about the community’s needs.”