Williams Landing – ‘Sneak Peak’

Williams Landing Station 1

Williams Landing Train Station

Williams Landing Train Station is set to open for commuters on Sunday April 28th, and to celebrate, Public Transport Victoria (PTV) held a ‘Sneak Peak’ this morning where members of the public could have a look at the new facilities.

The publicity of the event was commendable, with brochures in letter boxes, advertisements online and in newspapers, and as a result, the organisers of this event ought to be really happy with the turn out!

Hundreds of people were in attendance, from babies to the elderly, all coming out on a windy Sunday morning for a bit of a nosey. Several shuttle buses brought Williams Landing residents in droves, the car park was almost full, and several people came by foot or bicycle.

There are some really fantastic aspects of this new station. It will be extremely convenient for Residents of Williams Landing, who will have easy access via road or foot from several vantage points at the South end of the suburb (once the roads open and the development is finished).

Williams Landing Ramp

Ramp to the train platform

Its fantastic to see a train station with pedestrian foot ramps from both Williams Landing and Point Cook, as well as stairs and elevators to provide different options for commuters to reach the station which is situated above the train tracks. Along the pedestrian ramps that were open today, there were benches part way up for those who needed to take a break as the ramps are quite a long walk.

Williams Landing Platform

Williams Landing Platform

The train platform is excellent. Access is available via ramp, stairs or elevator. There are electronic notice boards, plenty of shelter and benches available for waiting.

There are five bus shelters available, one for each of the bus routes that will access the station. Each shelter provides six seats and a timetable of the route, and they all have fantastic overhead shelter for rain.

Williams Landing Bus shelter

Bus Shelter

The whole bus area is monitored by the use of several video surveillance cameras, hopefully making a safe environment for commuters throughout the day and night. A rather small bike shed, with space for 16 hanging and perhaps 10 or so bikes on the floor, is also available in the bus shelter area.

 

There are, unfortunately, several issues that are being discussed in the media and social media, and only time will tell which of these will become serious problems for commuters after the station is open.

Williams Landing bus stops

Row of five bus stops

There is no bus lane on Palmers Road from Point Cook to Williams Landing station. As residents of Point Cook are well aware, this, and every other road out of Point Cook, is at a standstill from around 7am-9am on week days. Adding four new bus routes in Point Cook, all of which travel down Palmers Road to the train station every 22 minutes – around 10 buses an hour – can only add to the stress of commuters heading to the freeway every morning.

Residents of Point Cook are already frustrated with our bus service, with them being unreliable and inefficient – one of which was reportedly cancelled in peak hour because it couldn’t get through the traffic. With these new buses stuck in the freeway traffic on Palmers Road, it is unlikely they will make it to their destination on time. One does wonder why the buses couldn’t drop commuters off at Wallace Ave for them to access the station from the massive new footbridge that spans the freeway. As a fellow PCAG Board Member stated to me at the event this morning:

sitting on a bus which is stuck in traffic on top of the Palmers Road bridge, will infuriate passengers as they watch their trains take off below without them.

The other issue with the buses at the station is that it is possibly up to a five minute walk (possibly longer for those with mobility issues)  for commuters to travel between the bus stops and the train platforms. One can only hope that the bus timetable takes this into account when trying to marry the bus and the train services together.

Williams Landing Car park

Williams Landing Car Park

The car park at the station reportedly holds 500 cars and several residents have already expressed their concern that the car park will be overflowing from day one. Today, I estimate the car park was at least 3/4 full when I left the event around 11am. As many people had walked or come to the event via a free shuttle bus service, I’m inclined to agree that it just wont be big enough to meet demands.

However, if the new bus routes proves to be an excellent service that manages to get through the traffic on Palmers Road, snake around the dog leg, and reaches the station on time, with time allocated to reach the platform, perhaps we’ll see hundreds of commuters from Point Cook take the bus and train instead.

Time will tell, and I’m sure we all have our fingers crossed!

Were you at the opening today? What did you think?

 

Point Cook Action Group Announces New Working Groups

Pencils on a blank notebookThe Point Cook Action Group has recently formed Working Groups to tackle specific issues within Point Cook. The purpose of the groups is to bring together both PCAG members and non-PCAG community members to work together towards certain goals, focusing on specific issues they are passionate about.

This is a very exciting new development within the PCAG, one which we believe will help bring our members together with the community.

The groups are as follows:

We are looking for more people to become involved, no matter how big or small the contribution. If you would like to be involved or would like more information, please contact us via info@pcag.org.au

Don’t forget you can follow us on Facebook or Twitter!

We look forward to this new step in our aim to help make Point Cook the fantastic place we all want to live in!

Census Data Released – What Does Point Cook’s Data Mean For The Future Of Our Suburb?

The 2011 Census data are starting to be released. I have taken a look at the QuickStats for Point Cook and have provided an overview of that data below.

In August 2011 there were 32,413 people living in Point Cook,  approximately a 220% increase from the data five years earlier, supporting all previous reports that we live in one of the fastest growing suburbs in Australia. This growth rate indicates that this data that has just been released already underestimates how many people are living in our suburb now.  However, it is great to finally have some more recent and accurate figures at our hands rather than working off assumptions and predictions based on five year old data.

86.9% of dwellings in Point Cook house families, with 9,081 families living in Point Cook. 69.7% of those families have children, with an average of 1.8 children per family.

The average number of people per household is 3.1. This is significantly higher than the state average of 2.6 people per household and this variance can make a significant difference when projecting population in an area based on number of households.

For example, the population estimates given when Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan was first drafted calculated population in the area at 2.8 people per household for conventional housing and 2.5 for medium density housing. On this basis the future population of this area was estimated at 4,746 residents. However, census data supports one of the arguments PCAG used against these projected figures. Point Cook attracts larger average number of people per household than the Victorian State average and therefore future planning should reflect this in their projections, as this has a significant knock on in regards to provision for other vital infrastructure, such as schools, health care and community leisure and wellbeing options.

Interestingly 4,097 people, that’s 12.6% of Point Cook’s population, are aged between 0-4 years, with 28.4% of the suburb aged 0-14 years. There are 5,111 (15.8%) 5-14 year olds (approximate P-9 school age) and 1,588 (4.9%) 15-19 year olds (approximate 10-12 school age). What does that mean for our already bursting schools? If you look at the number of people that are currently in the 15-19 year age bracket and then look at the age bracket below and our overall growth rate as a suburb, you don’t need to have passed maths with a Distinction to see that we are going to have twice as many people in years 10-12 in four years time than what we have now. Where are they going to go to secondary school? I haven’t seen any plans to build another Year 10-12 College or to double the size of Point Cook Senior College. Already we have many families sending their children as far as Bacchus Marsh, or in some instances much further to ensure quality education for our children. Think of all those extra cars and school buses on our roads, not to mention our children having to commute for up to an hour each way when they could otherwise be using that time to participate in sports or do their homework. It won’t be until much later in life that we will see what impact this will make and by then it will be too late.

The other significant age group in Point Cook is 25-44 years (14,277), making up a combined total of 44% of our population. These consist of the parents of these children and contribute to a large proportion of our commuting workforce. Employment details are yet to be released, but unfortunately statistics such as where people work have not been captured in this study. It would be interesting to see how many people work locally and how many people exactly we have battling to get out of Point Cook each morning via one of our three exits into town. More interesting would be the number of people that would prefer to work locally should options become available in areas such as the proposed, but yet confirmed Werribee Employment Precinct.

It will come as no surprise to Point Cook residents that we are a suburb reliant on our motor vehicles. In fact only 180 dwellings (1.8%) are without a motor vehicle. This is significantly down on the State average of 8.4%. Could our poor public transport have something to do with this perhaps? The average number of motor vehicles per dwelling is 1.9, with 53.8% having 2 motor vehicles, significantly greater than the State average of 37%.

The median household income is $1,986 per week, up from a State median of $1,216. However, with 73.7% of us being home owners rather than renters, it looks like this slight income advantage is going straight into the mortgage repayments. Our median monthly mortgage repayments are $2,200 compared to the State median of $1,700.

Point Cook is a multi-cultural suburb. Whilst Australia tops the country of birth (54.4%), other top responses in order of population numbers were India (5.7%), China (4.4%), England (3.9%), New Zealand (3.3%) and Philippines (21.1%).

Point Cook’s infrastructure is struggling to cope with the current number of residents in the suburb. Public transport is inadequate, arterial roads are at a standstill during peak times, there is limited local employment and our schools are bursting at the seams. Trying to squeeze more people into the suburb by releasing more land for development and/or approving applications for high-density housing in already populated areas of Point Cook should therefore be put on hold until our infrastructure issues catch up to at least support the requirements of our current population, as agreed by Planning Minister Matthew Guy. If not, then where are these people meant to work, go to school or develop other life skills such as learn to swim? There is no provisions for them to do that in Point Cook and they will struggle to get a bus or be able to drive elsewhere to do any of these things either.

So how does this data compare to what you though and what implications do you think this has for Point Cook as a suburb. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Coal Action Road Signs on Point Cook Road

From 6.30 am until 9.30am on Wednesday 14 June 2012, motorists in Point Cook Road were treated to a number of signs informing them about the threat of coal mining in the Wyndham municipality.

“The signs gave motorists stuck in the traffic something to think about while they tried to get to work” said local activist Paul Harder.

“Now that they’ve decided to replace the green wedge with more houses the traffic will deteriorate further” he said.

“The Traffic situation will only get worse if we allow the coal mining to begin in the Wyndham area” according to Harry van Moorst from the Western Region Environment Centre.

“In the US they found that more than 1,000 truck trips are required for every Coal Seam Gas mining well. According to Regal Resources they will construct 200 mining wells in Balliang and this may require more than 200,000 extra truck trips on our roads in Melbourne’s West” van Moorst said.

The Western Region Environment Centre has warned Wyndham City Council about the coal mining threat, pointing out that the Baillieu Government is promoting the brown coal export industry in Victoria and two mining companies have already invested more than $4 million in exploration and pilot plants in this region.

The Western Region Environment Centre today released a Traffic Impacts Of Coal Mining Fact Sheet, outlining the traffic implications of a coal mining industry in the region. They are also preparing a Fact Sheet outlining the health risks for families in the region.

“We have until September to convince the Government and the regulators not to renew the mining company’s license, after that it will be increasingly difficult to stop them implementing their mining plans”.

“Only fools would put their heads in the sand when the companies and the government have made their intentions abundantly clear” van Moorst said.

The Western Region Environment Centre intends further actions over the next few weeks to let residents know the threat to the community from the coal mining activities in the region.

For further information contact: Harry van Moorst 9731 0288 or 0431 121218.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy says “We heard You!”

PCAG were invited to a meeting by the State Planning Minister The Hon Matthew Guy to discuss the issues we are currently facing, and how future plans for Point Cook and the surrounding area will deal with these. Also in attendance were Peter Seamer – Executive Officer of the Growth Areas Authority, MP Bernie Finn and MP Andrew Elsbury being the members for Western Metropolitan Region.

The meeting began with Andrew Elsbury introducing Matthew Guy to the group, Mr Guy began with “call me Matthew” and thanked us for coming to the meeting. He said that there wasn’t a day in his office that Point Cook didn’t come into discussion in some way. He congratulated the PCAG for “making ourselves known” and for “making enough noise”. He assured us with a few humorous murmurs from around the room “we heard you, we heard you in the papers, we heard you on the news, in all the letters (prompted Mr Seamer), we have heard you, we’re here aren’t we?” This prompted a few chuckles from the members of our group; it was a positive start to the meeting.

Sprawling a map of Wyndham across the table, which highlighted our growth areas and population hot spots, transport poor areas and circled intersections across the municipality in dire need of attention, Mr Guy began by saying he wanted us to understand that he had inherited the fiasco that is Point Cook without the funds to implement the necessary infrastructure neglected by the previous government. This much we knew. He went on to state that since he had been in power he had not approved a single new development in Point Cook; the ones that are continuing to go ahead were approved by the previous government. I personally acknowledged and thanked him for that on behalf of the PCAG.

We commenced general discussion about the Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan (PCW PSP), in particular the diamond interchange at Sneydes Rd. Mr Guy expressed that their intentions were to move quickly on the Werribee Employment Precinct (WEP) to help fund the construction of the interchange. He also acknowledged that if even funding wasn’t an issue that it would not be an overnight fix and gave realistic timelines of when it would be constructed. He stated that together with council they had put in a joint submission through the federal Suburban Jobs Program to form a three tiered funding commitment for the interchange to boost jobs to the area. We felt that this was a fair approach since The Labor Party had caused the growth explosion without providing sufficient vital infrastructure for the area to cope.

In further discussions about the WEP, Mr Guy explained that the pocket of land was geologically stable which made it highly suitable to establish the area as a major data centre. This would create much needed employment in the IT sector for the area, a real positive for Point Cook with so many residents in the industry living here.

We found Mr Guy to be well-versed on the transport issues of Point Cook. As a Planning Minister his main focus was to create employment in the area to help alleviate the transport issues. We discussed our disappointment in the State Budget in relation to roads funding, poor bus services, lack of station parking and train services as well as the impact the Regional Rail Link (RRL) will make on the surrounding area. We questioned him about issues surrounding North Melbourne station and the impact of the more trains to that station. He adequately explained that upgrades were going ahead to North Melbourne station as part of the RRL that would prevent the crisscross that currently occurs between suburban and country trains.

Also discussed were the plans for a Ferry Service to the Melbourne Central Business District (CBD) being part of the transport solution for the area. Mr Guy explained the difficulties they are facing from old policy hurdles to funding in order to make this a reality. He said they were currently doing a feasibility study and mentioned those who were in support of plans. We expressed our reservations and had questions regarding the ferry that did not get answered due to time constraints but will most likely be answered through the feasibility study or in further discussions.

Mr Guy had another function to attend in Werribee and he had already run over time, Bernard Reilly thanked him on behalf of the group for his time. It went so quick and we had so much more to discuss. To our surprise Mr Guy offered to come back and have another meeting with PCAG. He then offered to come in peak hour traffic to experience firsthand the pain we feel in trying to get out of our own suburb. We were all very pleased. We felt he clearly understood the issues of Point Cook and he gave us hope that they were working towards viable solutions. It was a positive meeting.

We are not naive and we know that we need to hold Mr Guy and his Government accountable. We can only keep pushing the transport/infrastructure issues and continue making ourselves heard.

As Mr Guy was preparing to leave I couldn’t help myself from requesting Mr Elsbury take him via “Russian Roulette”. Mr Guy looked at me a little perplex so I explained that I meant the intersection Forsyth/Old Geelong Road. A death trap by day, but without a light pole at night time it was “Russian Roulette”. As he conversed with Mr Finn about it I cheekily asked if he could tack a light pole onto his expense account, lucky for me they both had a sense of humour. Hey, can’t blame me for trying!

This meeting was a real turning point for PCAG.  Despite only being an Incorporated Association for five short months, this meeting demonstrated the level of impact we have been able to make already. We are proud not only of ourselves but of everyone involved. The residents who have taken the time to write letters, send emails, comment in the papers and on our various social media profiles, called radio stations, attended meetings, became members supporting the group financially for our campaigns and even those who just bought a hot dog at our BBQ. We all achieved this together. No matter what anyone says it was a positive start and a big win for the Residents of Point Cook.

As I write this blog post today I am even more delighted to hear the news that the Point Cook West Precinct that we lobbied so hard for as a group has not been approved for development as a new suburb as part of the announcement that Matthew Guy made today. He was due to announce 6-8 new suburbs, with Point Cook West rumoured to be one of them. Matthew Guy seems to have stood by his word and Point Cook West has not been approved for development (at this time). It is equally pleasing to see that Matthew Guy is standing by the commitment he made in our meeting regarding the need to provide infrastructure prior to releasing more land for development in Point Cook.

This is a direct result of Point Cook residents fighting hard to ensure our community is developed in a sustainable manner. On behalf of PCAG, I would like to thank all those involved.

Point Cook Issues Overlooked In 2012-13 Victorian State Budget

The 2012-13 Victorian State Budget was handed down in Parliament by the Treasurer on 1 May 2012.

It is interesting to see that there is a press release from the Treasurer titled, Coalition Government 2012-13 Budget to drive economic growth, generate jobs, deliver major infrastructure and improve community services, but when you read the detail it becomes apparent that they weren’t referring to doing any of this in Point Cook!

Wyndham Mayor, Cr Kim McAliney sums it up pretty well in a recent press release stating that The State Budget’s Approach In Growth Areas Is Irresponsible. The press release goes on to say:

Despite being the fastest growing City in Victoria, the State Government has failed to recognise Wyndham City’s dire infrastructure needs in the 2012/13 Budget – a move which has been questioned by Wyndham Mayor, Cr Kim McAliney.

On top of the existing 5 growth fronts already in Wyndham, the State Government is frantically pushing ahead with planning for a further 15 growth fronts which will accommodate 180,000 people.

In a show of disregard for the City’s growth, the State Government has not committed funding in this Budget to any new bus routes, or schools and no new funding for arterial roads or upgrades has been provided.

Wyndham Mayor Cr Kim McAiiney said the budget demonstrated a lack of understanding of the issues facing the State’s rapidly growing outer West and growth areas.

“This budget completely neglects the needs of our growing community particularly in the areas of transport, infrastructure and education,” Cr McAliney said.

“It is incredibly short sighted of the State Government not to fund infrastructu re projects and services, while our residents spend hours each week stuck in endless traffic jams, packed like sardines into infrequent trains and waiting for non-existent services to arrive.”

“The pace of growth in the outer suburbs including Wyndham means we need new schools, new bus services and upgraded arterial roads each and every year, without fail. If the State wants a year off from providing the infrastructure, then stop the growth for a year.”

“If Wyndham City is forced to wait until next financial year for major project funding, and several years for construction, another 30,000 to 40,000 people will have moved into the municipality in that time and further increased pressure on infrastructure.”

“Fundamental infrastructure such as additional bus routes and addressing congestion and safety concerns by fixing Dohertys Road and Old Geelong Road at Forsyth Road cannot be ignored.”

“Similarly, the Point Cook South Prep -9 school is now at least 2 years behind schedule and the other schools in Point Cook simply cannot cope. The State Government is not addressing these issues but is pushing for this City to continue to grow. This will further exacerbate these problems.”

“Wyndham City welcomes funding for fixing Galvin Park Secondary College and works at Werribee Open Range Zoo. Funding for completing the construction at Manor Lakes Prep-12 College and Tarneit Central Prep-9 School, Palmers Road overpass and Regional Rail Link trains were either promised in previous years or is necessary to complete existing projects.”

“Wyndham City will continue advocating to the State Government for additional funding for infrastructure and services. However in the recent past Wyndham City has refused to support two growth area plans and may need to further review its support for future plans if the State Government cannot provide the essential infrastructure for new communities.”

Let us know what your thoughts are on the 2012-13 Victorian State Budget and what it means for residents of Point Cook in the comments below.

Licence to Neglect!

I attended the Transport rally for Wyndham’s roads to be improved organised by Greg Byrne on the weekend.  I have come to the conclusion that even if we could blink and duplicate roads around Wyndham it would do little to fix the traffic congestion in the future. The freeway runs at a pathetic crawl and the Westgate Bridge is crumbling under the weight of the traffic. Duplicating roads around Wyndham may make some of these death traps safer but let’s not kid ourselves we are still growing. There are more developments about to be released in Point Cook and many more across Wyndham, these “duplicated” roads would be beyond capacity before they are even completed.

The fact is politicians love pointing the finger and looking for someone to blame it would be so refreshing if they spent their time trying to find a real solution. Residents don’t want excuses they want action. The real issue is that only about 30% of the population living in Wyndham works in Wyndham. They need to stop building houses and start building jobs in the area. They also need to provide decent, safe, efficient and affordable public transport as well as transfer more freight to rail to reduce the number of heavy vehicles on our roads.

I used to think that the biggest problem with the west was silence, no one speaking out about the blatant neglect but it’s not. The biggest issue we have here is INACTION! The sad thing is I am not talking about the councillors or even the politicians but rather the residents of Wyndham.

The biggest issue we have here is INACTION!

Greg is a passionate Wyndham resident who has been campaigning on the issue of poor roads across Wyndham for years. I would encourage you all to get behind this campaign by joining the Facebook Group Fix Wyndham’s Roads Now! and more importantly, turning up to any of the rally’s organised to physically demonstrate the strength of this campaign through numbers.

I had the impression that with so many people on various Facebook pages and commenting in the papers about the transport/roads issues that finally people were sick of the neglect enough to stand up and do something about it, sadly I was wrong. When push comes to shove and a call to arms is put out as Greg did with the transport rally on the weekend, few new people actually turned up. I wonder whether all these people commenting really do give a dam? Do they want to make a difference? Or are they all just there for a whinge?

I see the same dedicated group of residents who write letters to politicians, attend council meetings, public meetings, PCAG meetings and rally’s to the point where I recognise their family members. Why are we the only ones making the effort when there are so many just making a lot of noise about the issues and then excuses for inaction? It is not like me to be all grumpy and cynical but even I am beginning to question whether or not we wasting our time? Should we too leave it to someone else fix? After all it’s not like we don’t have families, jobs or a busy life as well. It is all good and well to speak up, but sometimes you need to make the effort to turn up too – not always, but at least sometimes.

I believe that the real reason the West is neglected is because few people turn up to make those in power accountable; this gives them the right to turn a blind eye to what is going on and hands them a continued licence to neglect. What are you going to do about that?

Are You Coming To The Point Cook Action Group Meet And Greet?

Point Cook Action Group (PCAG) is having a “Meet and Greet”night at Gypsy Road on the evening of Friday 23 March 2012.

This is your opportunity to meet members of the PCAG in a social setting to informally discuss local issues. This event is open to anyone that wishes to come and is a great opportunity for members of the community to get together to build on the fantastic community spirit that Point Cook already possesses.

There will be a free drink provided for everyone that chooses to join PCAG on the night.

PCAG is pleased to see that one of its own members, Nick Michaelides, has taken it upon himself to promote this event by telling his story as to why the work of PCAG is important to him as a resident of Point Cook. Nick has created a Flyer promoting this event and is placing it on the windscreens of cars parked at the over-crowded Laverton station.

Feel free to make copies of Nick’s story Flyer promoting this event and hand it out to any local residents you feel may be interested in attending this event and/or making Point Cook a better suburb.

Please RSVP to this event so we have a rough indication of numbers.

Working Together – Support Councils Objection To The PCW PSP

I attended the Community Information Session on the Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan (PSP 39A) on Wednesday, 29 February and I was pleased to see council and residents working so well together. There was a real buzz in the room, we were all on the same side wanting the same outcome.

We must continue to work together to keep the pressure on. We can do this by commenting on the motion by council on the Council resolution opposing this Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan which was passed on the 27 February 2012.

What You Can Do To Help

It can be a simple letter stating which points you agree with and general reasons why. It is important to put it into your own words and then send the letter out to as many as possible.

For example:

To who it may concern

I wish to state that I agree with all motions raised in the Councils resolution opposing the Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan in particular the first motion “address traffic impacts occasioned by the release of this land for housing, and in the context of Point Cook’s already strained road network”.

It already takes me 30 to 45 minutes to get out of Point Cook everyday and that is just to get to the freeway before I can even travel to work, adding more residents without addressing the traffic issues will simply create even further stress on a suburb in gridlock.

Bill Forrest, Director of advocacy for the Wyndham City Council, advises:

“I would encourage you to forward the Councils resolution opposing this precinct structure plan to interested friends and colleagues in Point Cook.”

A full copy of the Council report is available here – (refer p.82)

“It is not too late to submit your own views to the Growth Areas Authority. You can email your comments to amendments@gaa.vic.gov.au and put “Point Cook West PSP” in the subject line. They need to be submitted by 7 March 2012. You can also forward a copy of your submission to Local State Members of Parliament.”

Who To Write To

Reponses should be sent by 7 March 2012 to Simon Cotterill, Structural Planning Manager, Growth Areas Authority, Level 29, 35 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000. Email: Simon.Cotterill@gaa.vic.gov.au.

Click here for contact details of Local State Members of Parliament to cc your response to, as suggested by Bill Forrest.  Don’t forget to also send to:

The Hon. Matthew Guy
Minister for Planning
Address: Level 16, 121 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Email: matthew.guy@parliament.vic.gov.au
Phone: 03 9938 5990

The Hon. Terry Mulder,
Minister for Public Transport
Minister for Roads
Address: Level 16, 121 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Phone: 03 9095 4330
Email: terence.mulder@parliament.vic.gov.au

State And Federal Governments Continue To Ignore Wyndham’s Traffic Issues Despite Council’s Advice

I attended the WCC meeting on Monday and one of the items on the agenda was Traffic Volumes in Wyndham. The Council’s Traffic Engineering Unit prepared a report Review of 2011 Traffic Volumes in Wyndham, which identifies the roads that are over capacity or at capacity now. The figures are alarming to say the least particularly Table 4 on page 52 . Fifteen sections of two-lane roads have volumes above the nominated capacity of 18,000 vehicles per day.

No roads that were identified to be at capacity in 2010, and requiring upgrading, have been upgraded. All of these roads are Vic Roads responsibility.

Council’s own recommendations are as follows:

1. Receive the report Review of 2011 Traffic Volumes in Wyndham

2. Write to VicRoads requesting it undertake planning and obtain funding for the duplication of the following roads that are currently at or above capacity:

  • Forsyth Road, Old Geelong Road to Princes Freeway
  • Sayers Road, between Palmers Road and Derrimut Road
  • Point Cook Road, between Dunnings Road and Sneydes Road
  • Heaths Road, between Tarneit Road and Shaws Road
  • Palmers Road, Boundary Road to Dohertys Road
  • Derrimut Road, Leakes Road to Dohertys Road

3. Write to VicRoads highlighting the urgency for duplication of the following roads as of strategic importance:

  • Dohertys Road, Fitzgerald Road to Grieve Parade
  • Leakes Road, Palmers Road to Fitzgerald Road
  • Derrimut Road, Sayers Road to Dohertys Road

4. Write to the Premier, the Minister for Transport, the Minister for Planning and the Growth Areas Authority with copies to all local State Members highlighting: the VicRoads declared arterials within Wyndham that are operating at capacity/approaching capacity, the implications on development in Wyndham, and request that a planning and upgrade program be prepared urgently; no road upgrades have occurred on VicRoads arterials since 2010; and that Wyndham Council has upgraded Sayers Road (Derrimut Road to Tarneit Road) and prepared concept plans to duplicate Tarneit Road (Sayers Road to the Good News School) based on the same assessments and reports from previous years.

5. Write to the Premier and Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport requesting a meeting regarding the need for arterial road upgrades in support of general traffic growth and freight activity.

  • Write to RACV with a copy of the report, and arrange a meeting to discuss road funding of arterial roads in growth municipalities.

It is worth taking the time to read through the Minutes from Wyndham Council Meeting 27 February 2012 (page 29-70 are the relevant pages).

It is disgraceful that our Council are putting forward these findings and demanding funding year after year and State and Federal Governments continue to ignore the West.

The way I see it is we have two choices:

  1. Sit in traffic day in day out becoming irate while waiting for our Government to take responsibility……….. I suggest you don’t hold your breath (unless you are chocking in the fumes while sitting in traffic)……………. or
  2. Start writing to the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Prime minister, the Premier, the Minister for Transport, the Minister for Planning, the Growth Areas Authority, and State Members expressing the impact this is having on all our lives and how sick the West of Melbourne is of being ignore by all levels of government from both parties.

Council can only advise and have little power they will continue to get ignored unless we all stand up and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Look on the bright side, if you have bluetooth on your phone you can start dictating your letter whilst on the way to work. At least you will have something constructive to do while you sit in gridlock.