It’s not 1955, fix Melbourne’s transport system

It’s not 1955, fix Melbourne’s transport system

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It’s not 1955
The Sunday Age editorial (7/5) is right to say that what is needed to address the transport woes of the Melbourne CBD is a solution that involves local and state government co-operation.
It is also true that for the CBD to continue to prosper the great majority of trips to and from central Melbourne each day should be by public and active transport modes rather than by car.
However, the state government has left the party. We have the West Gate Tunnel which will shovel ever more vehicles into Melbourne. And this when the message from western suburban electors to the government in last year’s election was that their public services were sub-standard.
Though the East West Link project has been scrapped, the North East Link project is to massively increase lane capacity on the Eastern Freeway between Springvale Road and Hoddle Street.
The Melbourne CBD and inner suburbs are to be caught in a government directed pincer movement from west and east. This may have looked quite clever circa 1955, but is now self-evidently stupid.

Ian Hundley, Balwyn North

Look after families
Your editorial draws attention to the cost of transport and what this means particularly for family outings to the city on weekends.
The argument is a little overstated given adult Myki fares on weekends are capped at $6.70 a day and concession fares half that. So $20.10 will pay for a family of four to travel anywhere in Melbourne all day, which beats the cost of CBD parking plus fuel to drive in from the outer suburbs.
Melburnians are no longer avoiding public transport but they are avoiding five-day-a-week travel to CBD offices, which so dominated public transport use before 2020. Outside peak hours patronage is now comparable to or exceeding 2019 levels. Even in peak hour we’re seeing the re-emergence of crush loads on city trams.
But the bigger problem for families travelling on weekends is that too often the public transport avoids them. There are still many buses that don’t run at all on Sundays, and many trains still run at poor frequencies. Service levels must be a focus of further reform.

Tony Morton, president, Public Transport Users Association

Our obligations
Jacqueline Maley (7/5) articulates the issues that correlate to the ethos of many in the Liberal Party who advocate a No vote for the Voice.
I was reminded of a haunting picture of Aboriginal men shackled together in the early days of colonisation. They were prisoners who mostly had committed petty crimes. We need to be reminded of the barbarity and brutality that can never be erased. The referendum is a way to atone for many of the wrongs committed by white settlement. We have an obligation to listen to the majority Voice of our First Nations People.

Judith Morrison, Nunawading

It’s a bit rich
Peter Dutton and his ilk regard welfare as sit-down money. However, the real beneficiaries of sit-down welfare are the affluent. Lounging on their sofas, they watch their assets in the form of property, rents, shares, superannuation, family trusts and inheritances grow, while counting all the ways their assets are granted preferential tax treatment.
Meanwhile, Labor hands out measly rises to the dole and rent aid while doing little for inequality and social injustice.

Angela Smith, Clifton Hill

Think creatively
Surely it is time we thought more creatively about the housing, renting and homelessness issues.
What about the Victorian government and churches’ hierarchies getting together and examining their many vacant or disused properties which could be repurposed into temporary accommodation or permanent housing.
There must be enough people of goodwill and skills in these establishments to come up with viable options to help with this urgent human problem. After all, don’t they both exist to serve their communities ?

Judith Paphazy, Cape Schanck

Pesutto’s true priorities
John Pesutto seems not to understand his role. It is not to engage in an ongoing time-consuming, vendetta against Moira Deeming. But to provide Victoria with what the state needs, an honest and viable alternative government.

Dennis Walker,
North Melbourne

Opposition vacuum
The Liberal Party is in its last days as witnessed by recent events in Victoria and NSW and the total failure of Peter Dutton and state leaders to offer anything constructive. Tasmania seems doomed to fall to Labor especially given the defection of two members over the proposed new stadium. The successor to the Liberals as a legitimate opposition won’t be the Greens who are tearing themselves apart as they have forgotten what they are supposed to stand for. There is a vacuum for a serious opposition party and the National Party won’t be a partner.

Stephen Dinham, Metung

Law deficiency
Your correspondent’s experience with the assisted dying of her husband with early dementia (Letters, 12/5) indicates a major deficiency with the legislation, which requires patients to have a less than six months’ life expectancy. However, those competent patients with progressive neurological conditions may be eligible for assisted dying if their prognosis is up to one year. It would be a simple matter to specify that early dementia sufferers, who are still competent, could be eligible now if they were expected to die within, say, five years.

Dr Harley Powell,

The pest is in front of me
As a pescatarian I eat fish but not meat. However, I will now consider eating pest rabbits and deer (″⁣The journey from vegetarian to shooting dinner″⁣, 12/5) and become a pestatarian.

John Hughes, Mentone

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