Abbott warns Victorian Libs: no money for urban rail


News article: Abbott warns Victorian Libs: no money for urban rail

"We spoke to Infrastructure Australia and their advice was that the most pressing road priority in Melbourne was the east-west link," Mr Abbott told reporters in Frankston on Thursday.

  Speed Minister for Railways

The wording of the second option above implies a level of arbitrariness in which projects get funded.  A third option (perhaps a variation on your second) is to establish some sort of relatively uniform national policy and fund a myriad of projects through that
There's a level of arbitrariness in now much each state gets granted in general revenue too.

With general grants or specific grants to states, the Commonwealth will have a budget and will need to decide how much of it goes to each grant. For each grant, it will ideally assess the state's need for a grant of that size and their ability to get funding separately from the Commonwealth.

With transport infrastructure projects, the norm is to make an estimate of how much the new transport infrastructure will contribute to the economy. If it allows people to ride their bicycles on the weekend, then the only contribution will be in paying someone to build it. If it releases hours of a million people's time getting to and from work, that will contribute more. If it gets goods to factories or ports reliably, then that will contribute to exports or efficient manufacturing. The amount that a project contributes to the economy can then be compared against the cost. The higher the ratio, the more interested any government should be in building it.

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  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
I didn't forget Adelaide or Perth. Seaford extension is funded by the State. Goodwood Junction is a freight project. Torrens Junction hasn't started but is again a freight project. Electrification is 'postponed indefinitely' apart from that work tied into the Seaford extension, again paid for by the State.

In Perth the Butler extension is funded by the State. Perth City Link is not a rail project - it offers no benefits to rail users - it is an urban renewal project. IA said this itself.

I'm also not referring to Howard or anything earlier - the only relevant issue is current Government actions and Abbott's policy. Separating actions and rhetoric.
In Adelaide they kicked in $291mil for Seaford

And were going to kick in a similar amount for Gawler I believe.  The feds are asking for some of the money not spent back.
  Speed Minister for Railways

The Age makes it sound like the Victorian Government is threatening Abbott with no East-West Tunnel.
The Napthine government is holding back crucial information needed by Infrastructure Australia to assess the financial viability of the east-west road link. Consultant Ernst & Young is believed to have delivered to the government some time ago the long-awaited ''business case'' needed to justify the proposed toll road.
A VicRoads spokeswoman said there had been little or no growth in the number of cars using roads leading into the city over the past 10 years, and that the drops in traffic on Alexandra Parade appeared to echo this trend. But Monash University transport expert Graham Currie said the decrease did not necessarily mean there was less traffic in the area but that congestion could be reducing the volume of traffic that was getting through.

The Minister's office claims that the documents are ready for submission but aren't needed yet.
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
In Adelaide they kicked in $291mil for Seaford

And were going to kick in a similar amount for Gawler I believe.  The feds are asking for some of the money not spent back.

Federal money was given to both the rebuilding of the Gawler and Noarlunga lines and the later electrification, simply to speed up construction as the state were short on money at the time. The entire project was in the $1.2billion range, the majority came from the state government.

When the electrification of the Gawler line was cancelled (state gov painted themselves into a corner again), the state had to write out a cheque for $30m to pay back the allocated money. Should the Liberal Party get in, I can't see that $30m ever reappearing.

The extension to Seaford was a seperate project, which the Federal Government paid the entire $291m, most of the money went into the 1.2km bridge over Onkaparinga Valley (which is a swamp).
  Speed Minister for Railways

The Age has another article that they pose as adverse towards the East-West tunnel, but also mention that the Auditor General has expressed concern over a state government commencing any large infrastructure project without Commonwealth backing.
It said not enough consideration was given to how much new projects ''increased congestion by inducing extra road use'' or whether strategies to encourage fewer people to drive were better value for money.

The report said pressure on state finances and uncertainty around Commonwealth contributions meant Victoria had to be smarter in how it tackled Melbourne's growing congestion with greater emphasis on managing demand.

The report also revealed in 2009 the state government conducted an inquiry into road pricing that looked at area charging for inner Melbourne, charging on ''three concentric cordons around the central business district'', parking charges and distance-based charging across Melbourne. ''The study showed that road pricing has the potential to substantially reduce travel times and the demand for road use during peak periods. It also showed potential for effecting an increase in public transport patronage, including average travel speeds across all network modes.

''Despite this, policy options for the implementation of road pricing in Melbourne have yet to be developed,'' the report said.

The report also noted while Public Transport Victoria had a statutory obligation to seek to increase the proportion of people using public transport, it did not have a target or strategies to achieve it.

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