Five (5) issues here :
- The Government has made their bed here by endlessly parroting on about " 50 dangerous/congested level crossings where they all seem to have the booms down for 65 minutes of each peak hour , turning the adjacent road networks into grid lock ". They need to put a fresh twist on it . The punters are sick of the same endless diatribe for each crossing , after nearly 4 years .Meanwhile the Opposition nitpicks, but would in reality drop the whole program ASAP if elected in favour of their hairbrained intersection removal project , that will just transfer congestion down the roads .
- Originally the statement from Labor in Opposition was - to "Remove 50 OF
the most dangerous", NOT
the 50 MOST
dangerous lx ." The Governments "spin doctors" fail dismally to point this out , as they are too busy arranging photo opportunities for Ministers in flak jackets , joined by the Local Member for Smeg Creek inspecting the deadly lx .
- The Governments stubborness in still insisting on grade separating Cherry St , Werribee is RIDICULOUS. Again the public are NOT fools . A good Minister would simply announce that Derrimut Road, Deer Park will be grade separated instead as train traffic on that section has increased by over 100 train movements a day since RRL opened, whereas at Cherry Street with no Geelong line trains total rail movements per day are now less than 20 in total over 24 hours , less than 1 train per hour . Simple & logical, but no initiative , no political courage or leadership as usual .
- Part of the claimed cost blowout , is in fact in that whilst the lx has been removed the opportunity has been taken at the same time to do additional roadworks or minor rail works, like a short section of duplication near Seaholme. Whist these are good initiatives whilst the resources are there, the AG is correct in asking what sort of Cost/Benefit analysis has been done ? if any . The Government is negligent in not explaining that such extra works are being done whilst the resources are on site as it is far more cost effective .
The pork barreling claim will always be made by the Opposition, but the reality here is that the lx are largely being packaged to achieve faster removal and also to achieve better $ value by tendering as packages .
The LX Authority as such is very well managed with project delivery time wise, and ahead of schedule .