Aurora Community Association (ACA) Transport Campaigning
20 February 2018
The Aurora Community Association (ACA) Transport Working Group has now come up with its own logo (see above) which features the campaign name ‘CONNECT COMMUNITIES’ and states the main campaign concerns ‘IMPROVE LOCAL ROADS’ and ‘BUILD WOLLERT RAIL’. The message ‘IMPROVE LOCAL ROADS’ will be mainly about duplicating Epping Road but may allow for up to two other road issues including Edgars Road – depending on the wishes of local residents. ‘BUILD WOLLERT RAIL’ will start with the expectation of completed acquisition of land for the Wollert rail line and completing a government feasibility study for this rail line within a year from now. A government commitment to complete the building of the Wollert train line by 2024 would be a greatly preferred.
A huge and growing problem is the failure of transport services to keep up with population growth both in Epping North and Wollert in the Council precinct of Epping North and more generally in the western half of the municipality of Whittlesea. This especially applies to public transport and a rail line to Wollert and it also applies to residents living outside but near to the safe Labor electorate of Thomastown. Expert urban planning is not being considered. It’s all political which makes it much more likely for the transport needs of those living in the Epping North precinct to go unnoticed.
The consequences of not finding transport solutions for Epping North precinct are dire. Road congestion and huge transport delays are increasingly taking away precious time for families, friends, community, recreation, entertainment, exercising, healthy eating, advocacy and other essentials for good living. Continuing transport neglect will further diminish liveability until no-one wants to live here. Governments, under non-transparent kinds of political influence, are too inclined to direct transport funding to unjustifiable costly mega-road projects which will only attract more congestion.
Important ACA website transport postings include:
- Submission for Rail Line Extension to Epping North and Wollert within 10 Years (http://www.aurora.asn.au/2017/08/submission-for-rail-line-extension-to-epping-north-and-wollert-within-10-years/)
- Answer to Craig Ondarchie enquiry about Wollert rail line (http://www.aurora.asn.au/2017/12/minister-allan-on-wollert-rail-line/)
- ACA response to Minister’s reply on Wollert train line (http://www.aurora.asn.au/2018/01/aca-reply-to-ministers-answer/)
To strengthen the campaign for the train line, five cases have been presented on this website of people in Epping North and Wollert experiencing major stress and hardship because of inadequate local transport services – website dates 12 Jan 2018, 23 Jan 2018, 30 Jan 2018 and 7 Feb 2018.
Further contributions from local residents are likely to strengthen the campaign greatly. More written stress and hardship cases are needed. Photographs could help. A 1-2 minute video on YouTube could be an alternative to writing. A video that goes viral would make a great impact. Videos might show congested traffic in different locations with different bad outcomes. Some local dashcam video could be used here. Videos could include case studies of stress and hardship. Humour or satire in a video could make it much more powerful. Videos here must not be aimed at identifiable individuals. Satire might feature an implausible or silly government defence of stress and hardship caused by neglect of public transport (e.g. ‘Building more roads rather than building rail creates more employment’). Satire might feature a silly alternative mode of transport on the Epping North public transport corridor e.g. a toy horse’s head on a stick.
ACA assistance might be possible for making the video.
Local school involvement with family support could greatly assist our campaign.
The new logo is expected to be promoted by website, infographics and social media – especially Facebook in the way that the South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance supported the ACCESS DENIED campaign (https://www.facebook.com/merndarail). It is hoped the new CONNECT COMMUNITIES logo will assist campaigners and supporters in deciding how and when they can be involved in the campaign.
Council grant money could be used for postcards. A campaign table with volunteers could be set up for various locations (e.g. shopping centres) and events (e.g. Aurora multicultural) to get postcard signatures and petition signatures on a laptop or ipad. Flyers would be less suitable for signatures if people take them away with the risk of the flyers being mislaid or lost. Change.Org (see website https://www.change.org/ is an organisation that can help with petitions. It is important that the number of signed petitions is visible close to where petition signatures are made.
Those writing campaign Tweets on Twitter can use hashtags (#WollertTrain?) that will help get the needed attention of targeted politicians.
It might help our Transport Working Group if someone is in charge for each of the following:
- Government relations
- Activating the community
- Media including social media.
The transport working group might consider a major public launch of our campaign with a big poster for the event and a photo in a local newspaper.
20 February 2018