Columns
10 years on Image

10 years on

August 2008 Issue 34:
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Away from the desk Image

Away from the desk

The little bent tree
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Chamber update Image

Chamber update

Upcoming events in Docklands
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Docklander Image

Docklander

Water views work for local novelist
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Docklands Secrets Image

Docklands Secrets

Politician disrespects us
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Fashion Image

Fashion

Top five street style trends
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Health and Wellbeing Image

Health and Wellbeing

Winning at winter health and fitness
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Letters Image

Letters

Letters to the Editor
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New Businesses Image

New Businesses

NeoLemonade and Melbourne Cellar Door
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Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

OC discriminated against a disabled owner
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Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

Sooky Romeo loves the attention
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SkyPad Living Image

SkyPad Living

Vertical democracies
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Street Art Image

Street Art

A reactionary world
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We Live Here Image

We Live Here

One woman’s stand gets results
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What Women Want - With Abby Crawford Image

What Women Want - With Abby Crawford

It’s been an extraordinary month
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August 2018 - Letters to the Editor

02 Aug 2018

A lack of common decency

When Public Transport Victoria floated the idea of a tram bridge across the Yarra River from Collins St to Lorimer St (which is seemingly supported by both Liberal and Labor) there has never been any transparency of costs and damage to existing lifestyles.

This proposal is all about the future transport needs of Fishermans Bend, which we wholeheartedly support as the greatest infrastructure project in Australia, as long as it’s done with proper planning safeguards.

During the past almost 12 months my wife and I have consulted with the Transport Minister and Opposition transport and planning shadow ministers, numerous politicians, Port Phillip Council, various Melbourne mayoral candidates, political advisors, engineering experts, business consultants and numerous other people, along with residents of Docklands and Yarra’s Edge and, without exception, the only strong support for tram bridge proposal came from the Port Phillip Council.

The voters of Victoria deserve an explanation on cost, how tram routes 11 and 48 are going to cope with increased patronage, how emergency services such as police and firefighters would be able to handle a disaster at Marina YE, the damage a tram crossing over extremely busy Lorimer St would do to transport of containers from Port of Melbourne and the concrete industry. And does the building industry realise the massive increase in costs if the concrete industry was forced out of its current location?

It’s my belief none of the above has been factored into making a common-sense approach to finding transport access to Fishermans Bend. The only way you will be able to service the expected increase of residents of up to 120,000 and 80,000 new employees is a train system.

Does PTV realise a further 126 new trams would be required to service peak hour traffic – and it’s possible a tram could cross Lorimer St every 57 seconds when Fishermans Bend is completed. Have they bothered to check traffic along Lorimer St at peak hour?

Does PTV understand there are approvals and pending approvals for up to 18 new residential towers just in the Lorimer precinct, which could have at least a further 10,000 new residents using the already overloaded Lorimer St.

Has PTV done its costings on a very expensive tram bridge, which will have major connectivity problems and, of course, a substantial bridge over West Gate Freeway? All these costs are before public acquisitions of people’s businesses – just for a tram line.

There are better, less expensive options and ones that don’t require acquisitions or create traffic hazards or wreck transport and the concrete industry but it seems that PTV and both ALP and LNP aren’t prepared to look at them.

I realise that both major parties claim no decisions will be made until final Fishermans Bend Panel Review hands down its findings, but surely it’s prudent to look at alternatives rather than have a closed mind?

Leading up to this year’s state election surely it’s incumbent on both major parties to discuss the tram bridge issue? And it certainly will have a major impact on who gets elected to the seat of Albert Park.

One of the most disappointing aspects for us has been the lack of common decency from our elected representatives.

The only politicians who bothered to respond were ALP’s Jacinta Allan, Martin Foley, Liberal David Davis, Green Ellen Sandell and the Reason Party’s Fiona Patten.

We did not receive a reply from all other members of the Southern Metropolitan Region along with all unaligned members of the Upper House.

So much for accountability of our Members of Parliament who are supposed to represent the people of Victoria.

Keith Sutherland

 

Bring democracy back

In the City of Melbourne, businesses get two votes while residents only get one, and property owners have more power than residents.

This means residents make up less than 40 per cent of the electoral roll, while businesses and non-resident property investors make up more than 60 per cent. This makes the City of Melbourne electoral roll the wealthiest and with the highest proportion of men of any council in Australia.

The system is designed to take representation away from the community and give more to the big end of town.

Labor’s Local Government Bill 2018 is currently being debated by the Victorian Parliament, but it does nothing to fix this rigged system. The Greens will introduce an amendment to make voting in council elections more democratic, including limiting the vote to residents.

Democracy means everyone should only have one vote, with one value. This is our opportunity to fix the system so our council truly represents us.

Call on the Labor Government to change the unfair system and return true democracy to our council. Sign the petition at ellensandell.com/democracy.

Ellen Sandell

State MP for Melbourne

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