Victorian container chain under re
Public attacks from several quarters on the systems supporting transport
THE VICTORIAN CONTAINER CHAIN and the broader trucking industry are suffering public attacks from several quarters on the systems that bring goods in an out of the state.
While opposition to container trucking around the Port of Melbourne has traditionally focused on close neighbour Footscray and the Maribyrnong council, this has expanded to a grouping of six councils under the LeadWest banner.
And while the industry is fi ghting against what is viewed as a nation-wide government-backed gouging strategy around the road infrastructure it already uses, the Melbourne industry faces academic questioning of one of the few initiatives in the city that would help – the West Gate Tunnel Project.
University of Melbourne PhD student Nathan Pittman and lecturer John Stone, along with Xi’an Jiaotong
Liverpool University lecturer Sophie Sturup have penned critique on The Conversation website, Impending trafficchaos? Beware the problematic
West Gate Tunnel forecasts, warning of weaknesses in forecasting and the assumptions used in modelling.
“The ‘ need’ for the tunnel exists only because of the presence of extra road and motorway capacity in the modelling assumptions – and because of the absence of any estimates of the effect on car travel of improved public transport passenger and freight transport alternatives in Melbourne’s rapidly expanding western suburbs,” they write.
“The package of roads that will generate traffi c growth on the West Gate Bridge and in the proposed tunnel have not yet been built, and there is nothing inevitable about any of it. Melbourne’s East West Link and Perth’s Roe 8 both demonstrate that public resistance is not necessarily futile.”
While defences of trucking are difficult to fi nd on the website, which is open to other academic views, it has recently hosted a pro-rail attack on the industry. Unlike the earlier local resistance, LeadWest’s target has grown to include empty container parks as well as the transporters that service them, along with the port itself, which the body wishes to be moved the Bay West region, closer to Geelong.
“The package of roads ... has not yet been built, and there is nothing inevitable about any of it”