ACA Campaign: Build Wollert Rail & Improve Local Roads

ACA Website Post
8 September 2018
Tony Francis

Earlier ACA contributions to local transport campaigning have involved petitions with detailed arguments on why the Victorian State Government needs to fund improved local transport services. Government responses to these petitions have been largely superficial and/or irrelevant suggesting the Government will be much more impressed if it can be shown that such petitions are widely supported by local voters and their voting. The 2014 Access Denied campaign greatly succeeded in the demonstration of widespread voter support for building Mernda rail in the marginal electorate of Yan Yean. The Mernda rail line is now completed and operating. In 2018 Epping North and Wollert residents do not have Whittlesea Council support for such campaigning and are expected to lead the campaign in the safe Labor electorate of Thomastown despite having so many residents new to Australia and unfamiliar with our political environment.

The 2014 Access Denied campaign featured campaign postcards which were designed by Whittlesea Council. More than 7000 of these postcards were signed with contact details; the postcards were hand-delivered in bulk to Parliament. The contact details obligated the Government to reply to these signatories which greatly increased Government awareness of Mernda rail support.

The ACA has come up with a 2018 version of the Access Denied postcard. It is hoped that signatures and contact details on the postcards will show the Government there is convincing and widespread support for building the rail line to Epping North and Wollert – which the Government will be obligated to acknowledge. These postcards are presently available at the Creeds Farm Living and Leaning Centre and at the Galada Community Centre. In each Centre the postcards are next to a box for them to be placed after they have been filled in. Suggestions and volunteering are welcome for distributing the blank postcards more widely (with replies to (One possibility is having volunteers at a postcard table in a shopping centre.)  A picture of each side of the postcard follows:

ACA Connect Communities Postcard Side 2a

ACA Connect Communities Postcard Side 1a

In addition to the postcard there is a website petition at which is especially geared to show the numbers for those supporting the building of the Wollert rail and improving local roads. People are urged to provide their first name, last name and email address to boost the numbers here which have stalled over the last several weeks.

Our transport campaigning is a total lost cause if insufficient people are willing to show their support. It is not a case of rail or road. Rail AND road are both important. More road alone will only attract more vehicles and eventually more congestion. Lack of a rail line to Wollert is already causing increasing hardship and a decline in liveability with future costs to heavily exceed the funding needed for rail. A local or concerned resident is the right person to sign a postcard. Contact details will only go to the Government which is expected to deal with them in-confidence. Please include the postcode with your address on the postcard.

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