Archive: Transport

Last Updated 7/10/11 



State Government's New Major Transport Legislation A Horror Story For Democracy And Sustainability

(10/10/09 - SG)  You want it? You got it, but only if you are or work for the government. For everyone or everything else, it's "too bad, so sad"


Here's how one member of MRRA's network sees the new Act:

Word is that last Tuesday the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Bill became an Act of Parliament. Please read section 263 of the Act on page 164. This Act seems to give the Planning Minister more power than the Premier, and to gag the voice of the people. The Act proposes to OVER RIDE the following Acts should it be necessary in the construction of a new road/rail link.


Coastal Management Act 1995

Conservation, Forests and Lands Act 1987

Environment Protection Act 1970

Flora and fauna Guarantee Act 1988

Forests Act 1958

Heritage Act 1995

National Parks Act 1975

Planning and Environment Act 1987

Road Management Act 2004

Water Act 1989

Wildlife Act 1975

Our contact closed by saying:  What it means is that no house, business, park etc in Victoria is safe from the bulldozer under this Act.


MRRA Says:


We would add vegetation and endangered species to that list, if those are the Acts affected. 


A very quick look at the Major Transport Projects legislation raised our eyebrows to somewhere near the back or our skull.  Keep in mind it was a VERY quick look but we picked up issues we would have strong concerns over such as extinguishment of rights to compensation, an ability by those favoured by the State government to sell off Crown land surplus to needs, accessing project sites being made an offence (no protests there, then), authorization to close roads (almost at will, apparently), and something about only being able to selectively appeal (to the Supreme Court?) about approvals with all other appeal avenues, including VCAT, closed off.


At first glance, it struck us that this Act seems like the stuff dictators dream of - a mass grave for everyone's rights, including a few backhanders for utility providers.  Sorry we can't be more specific so please, check it out for yourselves by going to   If you pick anything up we would be very grateful to hear about it



Ye Gods!  Is This Where Train Travel In Victoria Is Heading?

(1/5/08 - SG)  'Squeezy' and 'sardines' hardly rate - have a look at how too many people, not enough trains is "handled" in (we believe) China   More...



Council Says State Government Is Responsible For Providing Bus Services

(2/9/05 – SG) Community petition for better transport sent to wrong level of government?

Macedon Ranges Council has responded to a petition of some 2100 signatures calling for improved transport services in the Shire, presented to Council by Russell Mowatt in July.  While Council has undertaken a study of transport needs in the Shire, it is the Department of Infrastructure’s not Council’s responsibility to provide those services.  Mr. Mowatt is to be advised of Council’s resolution.


MRRA Says:

It is surprising that Mr Mowatt, who has stood as a candidate at State and Federal elections and four times as a candidate for Council elections, doesn’t seem to realise it is the State government, not Council, that is responsible for providing transport improvements.   Council has actually done its job in undertaking a study.  The door Mr. Mowatt should be knocking on is that of State Labor MP, Joanne Duncan.



Local Resident Claims Councillor Gagged Petition Presentation

(21/7/05 – C) Or was the Councillor simply following Council meeting rules?

Local Gisborne resident Russell Mowatt has claimed in a local newspaper that Councillor Deb Dunn ‘gagged’ him at a recent Council committee meeting.  Mr. Mowatt went to the Committee meeting armed with a petition carrying some 2100 signatures in support of improved transport services in the Shire.  It seems however that Mr. Mowatt expected to address Council but was not allowed to do so after Cr. Dunn queried this action and called Council’s meeting rules to everyone’s attention.


MRRA Says:

The claim of ‘gagging’ isn’t really fair.  Council has rules governing how meetings will be conducted, which are publicly available.  What’s surprising is that Mr. Mowatt (who has run for Council several times) apparently isn’t familiar with Council’s Local Law No. 5 (Processes Of Municipal Government: Meetings And Common Seal) which says:


“100. Petitions and Joint Letters

A petition or joint letter presented to the Council must lay on the table until the next ordinary meeting of the Council and no motion, other than to receive the petition or joint letter may be accepted by the Chairperson, unless the Council agrees to deal with it earlier.”


An MRRA rep attended this meeting and saw nothing untoward in the process Council adopted.  MRRA’s view is that Council has an onus to uphold its own rules, and the same rules should be applied to everyone.  That’s what seems to have happened on the night in question.