Politics and activism

Who to put last?

What I’m pondering for this Saturday’s state election is who am I going to put last? It’s not like a Federal byelection, when every man and his dog decides to run. No, in my district there isn’t a huge assortment of weird and wacky parties, nor are there any independents. All you’ve got are ALP (sitting member), Libs, Greens, Family First and the Citizens Electoral Council.

Apart from CEC, I happened to compare transport policies of the parties while helping to compile an election scorecard for the PTUA.

What’s particularly enlightening if you read the Family First literature is that it’s all just a bunch of policies of (in my opinion) varying degrees of benefit, but marketed under the FF banner. You wouldn’t want to be against families would you? Then you MUST support building a freeway through Melbourne’s northeast green wedge! And that’s just the start — they want billions of dollars of new freeways. Family First says it’s good, so it must be good for families! What crap.

As for CEC, well it’s a little hard to find anything of actual relevance to state politics on their web site. The only thing relevant to transport is a picture of a maglev train on their banner. Ah yes, maglev: very fast, fantastically expensive, a technology that has been implemented commercially precisely once.

And they appear to be stringently pro-nuclear, with their leader Lyndon LaRouche claiming if we don’t build reactors then the world economy will collapse and we’ll turn into dingoes. Or something like that. Indeed, in this as in other issues they appear to blindly follow the beliefs of LaRouche. Which I guess is okay if you really believe one bloke has the answer to everything. Maybe if he’s God, he might. I wonder what he thinks of the South Morang rail line, or building a railway station at Southland? Perhaps as long as the trains are nuclear-powered.

So, it would seem the competition for who goes on my ballot last is pretty hot.

And there’s lots more in the upper house.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

12 replies on “Who to put last?”

Did you mis a media release on October 25, 2006 by Family First calling for an extension to the Sth Morang rail extension within one year. The Bracks government promised the extension in 1999, in its first term of government. It is now asking residents to wait until 2020. It has also decided that people who have to drive to Epping station to park their car for the day to use public transport will now be charged a fee.
Family First wants to abolish Zones 2 and 3, allowing all families from all suburbs to access cheap public transport. Maybe you should have researched more thoroughly and seen who really is trying to improve the public transport system and make it more affordable and accessible, yes for families!

Guru: There’s no reason it should cost $120m. $12m may be on the optimistic side, but then, the Dandenong to Cranbourne line was more than double that length and cost $27m not so long ago.

Jen: I can’t even find any media releases on the FF Victoria site. They do have a media clipping from 26/10, but that information isn’t in their policies. Yes, the Bracks govt has been very slow in extending (and it may never happen), but there is as-yet no fee for parking at stations. As for flat fares, I disagree that someone going down to their local shops should pay the same fare as someone travelling 40 km from Pakenham into the city. If anything, it would drive-up fares for people going shorter distances. (Note that if every fare was pegged to the current zone 1 fare, people making local trips in zone 2 or 3 would see an immediate price increase of 30%.)

And FF’s wish for numerous expensive and wasteful freeway projects to plough through bushland and parkland (NE green wedge, Frankston freeway, East-west tunnel) is just plain stupid. How is spending billions to entrench dependency on cars and increasingly expensive oil family friendly?

I would put CEC last. Especially in your suburb where they appear to have a cell (someone tried to hand me a dirtsheet at your local station today, and I bet it was CEC without looking at it).

At one time I thought that FF might be mildly reactionary on economic matters (like DLP) and provided this didn’t veer off into ultra-protectionism then this could have a benign effect on some Howard policies (like the Democrats with the GST). However Fielding’s acquiescence to Coonan’s media laws put paid to this and FF have lost credibility and therefore usefulness.

FF might be bitter, but they aren’t twisted. Whereas CEC are both. So maybe second last preference.

Luckily I don’t have CEC standing in my seat, so this decision will only need to be made for the Leg Council.

#3m per track km for electrified heavy rail is very easily achieved, so long as the earthworks are already done. That’d make $12m for a 4km extension to the Mill Park Shops (commonly referred to as South Morang) pretty much spot on.

So long as the platform isn’t paved in bluestone and the rails aren’t plated with gold that is. The ALP sure can work out how to waste taxpayers money when they really want to.

Heck, they buult the Alice to Darwin line for about $900k per track km, including earthworks and bridges, albeit not electrified and with very basic signalling.

So, will Families First be screening train ticket purchasers to makes sure only “families” receive the discount and not, for example, same sex couples?

I couldn’t care less if FF was planning to shut down freeways and spend it all on public transport… I was going to say more, but will leave it at that.

The CEC could definitely go last. I was suprised to learn that not only is that loony Lyndon LaRouche still alive, but also out of prison.

The track got an upgrade though didn’t it? As well as the electrification? At South Morang the alignment from the previous line is still in place, thankfully.

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