Vic­to­rian con­tainer chain un­der re

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

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”

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