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Issue #1645      July, 2, 2014

Rally for public transport

Melbourne saw its biggest pro-public transport rally ever last Saturday. Endorsed by more than 70 organisations, the protest was attended by thousands of people. Protesters listened to speeches before marching down Swanston Street to Flinders Street Station, the centre of the public transport system in Melbourne.

Speakers included: Greens federal MP Adam Bandt, Yarra City Councillor Stephen Jolly, Moreland City Councillor Sue Bolton plus a number of representatives from pro-public transport community groups.

The rally united the groups around three main demands: Scrap the East-West Link, rip up any contracts signed and for investment in public transport as an alternative to toll roads.

Yarra City Councillor Stephen Jolly said “The picketing campaign against the East-West tunnel test drilling helped to highlight all the problems with this project.

“If allowed to go ahead it would be a social, environmental and economic disaster for this state. It will not reduce congestion and the jobs created would only be temporary. Public transport creates more long term, sustainable jobs and its better for the environment. That’s why the bulk of Victorians want to see it prioritised.

“If this government goes against the wishes of the majority of people then they can expect more pickets and civil disobedience in the lead up to the election.

“At the same time this rally sends a message to the Labor opposition. Either commit to ripping up the contracts or you too will have to deal with unrest if you win the election in November.

“No matter what happens, this pro public transport movement will gather momentum. People have had enough of consecutive governments refusing to invest in the system”. Stephen said.

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