Invest in fast efficient regional rail
Under the headline Ballarat is Booming a recent media story revealed that Ballarat is the place to live and invest in affordable residential property. We all know that Ballarat is a great place to live. It has everything you could want; however, if you need more we are close to Melbourne and will be even closer with a fast rail service, not forgetting the potential of the proposed airport connection at Sunshine.
In The Courier article 3 August, Matthew Guy stated that if elected at the November state election Ballarat would become the regional transport capital of Victoria, and he also noted his desire for VLine to relocated to Ballarat. This would be a great opportunity for our city. I fully support those moves.
But further than that were the wise words from former premier Steve Bracks and former Coalition deputy premier Pat McNamara, who together released an opinion piece stating that the integration of transport and land use must be at the centre of Victoria’s decision-making. They went on to say that Victoria is experiencing unprecedented growth, with our population booming at levels not seen since the gold rush and our economy is growing at the fastest pace of any of the other states.
As Matthew Guy stated and Steve Bracks and Pat McNamara have reaffirmed, Ballarat is projected to have a population of 200,000 people by 2050. Melbourne cannot sustain much futher expansion, but regional Victoria, and Ballarat, can. Bracks and McNamara went on to say that decentralisation must become the central priority of government in 2018. To achieve this, I say that high-speed rail transport (with speeds of up to 350 kmh) must also be a priority. And of course our historic Ballarat central station must become a 21st-century all-abilities transport hub.
Fast and efficient rail-induced growth is what is needed if we are to become the place to be in Victoria. So all governments must turn their attention to growth and transport and in doing so, plan now to invest significantly in fast and efficient regional rail services, not just maintenance. For us to have fast and efficient rail, the existing tracks need to be replaced to accommodate the needs of very fast trains and, of course, the duplication of the line to Ballarat is a must.
Ballarat needs to be the leader in this far-sighted approach. To date we have tinkered with the future, but we now need leadership from Council with support from Committee for Ballarat and Commerce Ballarat, and true leaders in our community to demand that we are being heard not only at the state level but also in Canberra. Ballarat must not only own its future but also lead the way.
Ron Egeberg , Soldiers Hill
Well Done Sam.
I would like to Congratulate Buninyong wheelchair athlete Sam Rizzo for a great effort in winning the wheelchair elite category, City to Surf in Sydney on the weekend. Sam is a very dedicated wheelchair athlete who has put in a lot a hard work to get to where he is today and I believe he has a lot of people following his success in wheelchair athletics.
Geoff Rundell Ballarat