Wait Continues on Public Release of State Government Report

31 Jan 2013

Manningham Council and its fellow members of the Doncaster Rail Local Government Group have received a commitment from the State Government that it will release a report on the Doncaster Rail proposal for public comment.

Despite Council’s urging the Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder could not be drawn into a specific date, opting to write to Council to advise that the Phase One Doncaster Rail Study Draft Recommendations Report would be released for public comment in "early 2013".

Minister Mulder said the public comment period would include two Q&A sessions.

The Minister's advice was in response to a letter sent on behalf of Council by Mayor Cr Jennifer Yang on 18 December calling for the release of the Doncaster Rail Study.

“Given the release of the Curtin University Report in late 2012, that outlined the viability, cost effectiveness and dire need of a rail link from Doncaster to the CBD, it is disappointing that the release of Phase One Doncaster Rail Study Draft Recommendations Report has been delayed.”

“It is vital that Council and the members of the Doncaster Rail Local Government Group continue to advocate on behalf of their communities to ensure that the State Government fully understands the changing transport needs in this corridor. Rail is a necessary ingredient for the development of vibrant communities into the future and we cannot afford to let another opportunity pass us by.”

“We are asking this State Government to think long term. To think beyond the next election and beyond the next decades, and to appreciate the social, economic and environmental role a rail link to the Doncaster corridor would have for future generations,” Cr Yang said.

In September 2011, independent consultant URS Australia was appointed to technically assess the feasibility of rail to Doncaster and to seek community ideas and input. The study team conducted community consultation in early 2012, developing three route options.

Original indications were that the Phase one report would have been released by 2012, with Phase two report developing the findings and being completed mid 2013.

The Curtin University study report, commissioned by the Doncaster Rail Local Government Group, and an independent report by transport and infrastructure authority Professor Peter Newman were both forwarded to the Minister for Transport and Senior Transport officials to assist the State Government in the scoping for Stage Two of the Doncaster Rail feasibility study.

The Curtin Study report strongly supports the proposal of a rail link to Doncaster and highlights many long term economic, environmental and social advantages, including:

  • An integrated transport corridor scenario, with rail as its spine, creates a catchment that could accommodate up to 100,000 commuter trips a day (more than the existing Glen Waverley line)
  • A new, high quality transit catchment area will significantly improve land values (as much as 20 per cent)
  • A link through to Ringwood would enable significant network improvements for the Box Hill line.
  • A continuation of the Doncaster rail line from Victoria Park to Parkville would create a valuable public transport link to the ‘health and knowledge centre’ of Melbourne, especially if linked to the proposed Melbourne Metro line.

Copies of the Curtin University Report can be downloaded at www.ontrackforthefuture.com

Media enquiries contact Noel McMahon on 9840 9328.