RMIT experts available for comment on State Budget

Experts from RMIT are available to talk to media from 6am this morning about a range of topics and issues relating to the 2018-19 State Budget.

Transport and infrastructure

Topics/research interests: infrastructure, transport, housing and metropolitan planning

‘‘The budget perpetuates an ad-hoc, piecemeal approach to transport spending, despite the relevant act requiring the government to plan major transport infrastructure in a joined up, coordinated way.

‘‘This reactive, short-term approach will likely impose long term costs on Melbourne’s travel and the city’s liveability.

‘‘The regional rail funding for infrastructure and services is welcome, but further thought needs to go into integrating economic development initiatives with faster regional travel. There is surprisingly limited evidence of a positive economic impact from regional rail, given the scale of investment.

‘‘The $3.3 billion spent on roads means money is not available for desperately-needed public transport in underserviced growth areas. Suburban road users will continue to face congestion and long travel times accessing employment and services without new public transport investment and services.

‘‘The decision to proceed with the North East Link is disappointing, given its questionable cost-benefit ratio.’’

Professor Jago Dodson is Director at the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University. He has an extensive record of research into housing, transport, urban planning, infrastructure, energy and urban governance problems. He has contributed extensively to scholarly and public debates about Australian cities and has advised national and international agencies on urban policy questions.

For interviews: Professor Jago Dodson, +61 3 9925 9591, +61 415 554 889, or 

‘‘It’s clear that there is very little that is actually new in the transport area, and some disappointing slowdowns on public transport.

‘‘A lot is being made of things that are only in the early planning stages … such as fast rail to Geelong, a rail link to the airport and light rail from Caulfield to Monash and Rowville. These things are good to have, but, in the face of the fastest growing population in Australia, not nearly enough.

‘‘As the forecasts show, while Victoria has spent up big recently, this will begin to tail off in the next two to five years. Given that our population growth is not projected to slow, and current plans to upgrade public transport will not meet forecast demand, there is still much more work to be done.’’

Dr Ian Woodcock convenes the Planning and Transport in City Regions Program in the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT and is an associate lecturer in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies. He has researched land use and transport integration for more than a decade. He is regularly asked to provide expert comment, particularly around Melbourne’s transport needs.’

For interviews: Dr Ian Woodcock, 0413 044 080 or