LETTERS: People must come first in railway precinct planning

TIME TO LISTEN: One reader is calling on the Andrews government to listen to people's concerns about the development at the Ballarat Railway precinct.
TIME TO LISTEN: One reader is calling on the Andrews government to listen to people's concerns about the development at the Ballarat Railway precinct.

People must come first in railway station precinct

RE: Calls for better station access as trains block Lydiard Street gates, The Courier, January 26.

For well over a year, many people have been calling for something better to be done at the Ballarat Railway Station. 

Your article highlighting the very real limitations imposed on people who merely wish to cross from one side of the railway tracks to the other side, has previously been highlighted on many occasions by many people, but for some obscure reason, perhaps only known by the Andrews Government, there appears to be no-one listening to the concerns of people.

It would seem that the overused spin doctor mantra of “jobs and growth” totally wipes aside any need for  the Andrews government to consider people’s concerns or consider better alternatives.

An example of this is the rejection of a simple pedestrian underpass.  Such an underpass has existed at Creswick Station since the 19th century (circa 1974), so there should be no engineering challenges in Lydiard Street.  The government just seems to like ignoring this elephant in the room.

Another example is the planned multi level car park. 

Apart from considerably reducing the number of available parking spaces, the car park does not have to include a lift, merely ramps. 

This means that anyone with mobility issues will be further disadvantaged by an explicit failure to do things better at the Ballarat Railway Station.

At this point in time the government appears to clearly treat all transport orientated users of the Ballarat station as second class people who do not matter when it comes to jobs and growth. 

Property developers seem to be travelling first class all the way.

In the event that government was to rethink the current development and instead proceed with better alternatives, then there would still be the a comparable level of “jobs and growth” as works progressed on better alternatives.

As per your article on January 26 on former parliamentarian John Mildren, you quoted: “The most important element of holding a seat in parliament was the power it provided to help people in the community”.  Many of our current politicians could perhaps learn a lesson from this and take the time to help people in the community. 

People must come first.

- Stephen Norgate, Newington

Time for action to resolve cross border issues

VICTORIA’S state borders with South Australia and New South Wales are more than just lines on a map for the communities that live there. It means another set of rules, added cost and more red tape to business and everyday life.

Our tradespeople need two separate licences to work on both sides of the border, while our transport operators and farmers need two different permits if they want to cross the state line. Emergency services also struggle to share information, making it harder than it should be for them to help our family and friends in times of need.

Despite a clear need to solve these problems, all Daniel Andrews has done is announce a business case to tell him whether or not the problems are real.

Unlike Daniel Andrews, the Liberal Nationals have listened to our border communities and we've made a solid commitment to establish a cross border commissioner.

The Liberal Nationals will also ensure the commissioner is based in regional Victoria, again in contrast to city-centric Labor which struggles to see past Melbourne's tram tracks.

It's time for action to resolve our cross border issues with South Australia and New South Wales and the Liberal Nationals are committed to working with border communities to find and fix the problems.

- Peter Walsh, Nationals leader