When will Council and governments learn that it is in the public interest to plan long term and in the case of public transport seek bipartisan support for future development.
It was announced that Southern Cross Station will be dramatically overhauled under a $300 million plan to cope with an unprecedented surge in patronage that is threatening the station's ability to function.
This is barely 10 years after the station formerly known as Spencer Street was rebuilt. Fairfax Media reports that Southern Cross is now struggling to deal with passenger numbers. Growth in commuter numbers is said to be so acute that the station could soon rival Melbourne Airport as one of the state's busiest transport hubs, with long queues to access overloaded platforms and an overburdened coach terminal.
This is exactly the issue that will affect the Ballarat Rail Station, and that is why it must become a Transport Hub and not a site for commercial development particularly an unwarranted hotel. Added to this is the fact that the state government has conceded the electrification of the Melton rail line will have to wait up to a decade, with the completion of the massive Metro Tunnel project first required to enhance the capacity of Melbourne's train network.
Melbourne's current network is struggling to cope with rising demand and has little capacity to take on more regional services. Electrification of the Melton line was suggested in the lead-up to this year's state budget.
Nothing has happen or is planned to happen short term. Electrification would drastically reduce commuter congestion on trains from Ballarat and allow for more services into Melbourne. The issue for Public Transport particularly Regional Rail is we have failed to plan.
One of our councillors is quoted as saying this is a state issue. I'm sorry, this is a community issue that Council must address and lobby the state and federal governments for action. A time frame of 15 to 20 years is unacceptable.
Where is our Council when we need advocacy for what I believe, and many others do, that fast efficient express services are needed now? The state and federal governments talk about infrastructure and growth and jobs, but frankly what are we doing about it?
Ron Egeberg, Candidate for Central Ward
Your article, "Pollies Support Death Reforms" (Courier 1/10/16), states that a majority of western Victoria's MPs are open to changing Victoria's laws on euthanasia. If this is true, and if euthanasia becomes legal, many vulnerable people eg. the terminally ill, the seriously disabled etc.,will have reason to be fearful.
Once a society has deemed that select groups of people, the disabled, unborn babies, the terminally ill, have become a burden, particularly a financial burden, many will need to be concerned, especially those considered to have a 'decreased quality of life'.
Sadly, a growing number of people seem to associate 'dying with dignity' with mercy killing or euthanasia. Rather than giving dignity to a person's life, this way of thinking would more likely instil a feeling of worthlessness and the sense of being a burden on society.
In countries where euthanasia is legal and laws and safeguards were put into place to prevent misuse, alarmingly, it appears that loopholes are too easily found. A more humane way to help people with 'end of life' issues would be to work towards providing top-quality palliative care. This would assist the seriously ill to spend precious time with their loved ones, which would help both the sufferer and their families. I urge everyone, especially politicians, to look at all the facts regarding legalised euthanasia in other countries such as Belgium and Holland.
Maria Plier, Clunes,
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.