PUBLIC RALLY- HELD ON SUNDAY 8TH OCTOBER 2006

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Spokesman Mr Darren Peters addresses the rally
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Mayor Mr John Fry addresses the rally
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The public supporting the rally1
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The public supporting the rally2
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At Noon on Sunday 8th of October, the South Morang Rail Alliance conveined a rally in protest at the broken 1999 Government promise to extend rail services to South Morang by 2003. Over 100 people were in attendance to hear from State Election Candidates and South Morang Rail Alliance Spokesman, Darren Peters in regard to the issue.

Mr Peters spoke of the community disgust at being lied to and then insulted by being told that the extension will occur in 2021. He said the lie had caused people to purchase houses in the local area under false pretenses as real estate agents were informing the prospective buyers that the line would be built by 2003. He spoke of the struggle young families now have as they need to have 2 or more cars for their family and for work. He damned Peter Batchelor (Thomastown), Danielle Green (Yan Yean) and Lily D’Ambrosio (Mill Park) by using their own newspaper quotes against them to support the extension of the rail. He called for all parties to state their policy and for the rail line to be implemented immediately.

Mayor of the City of Whittlesea John Fry said Council had done all the necessary planning for the rail extension and want it now. He said that Council support the Government policy of transit cities, he just now wanted the Government to support it.

Member for Mill Park, Ms Lily D’Ambrosio was shouted down with whistles and boos from the angry crowd as all she could do was to read from a prepared statement explaining that buses were sufficient for the area. Members of the crowd cried we don't want a bus, we want a train! Why wont you listen to us? but this was ignored by Ms D'Ambrosio. Asked what the Labor Party policy was for the building of the rail extension, the reply of 2021 was met with the crowd roaring their disapproval and she was jeered from the stage.

Liberal candidate for Yan Yean Aneta Ivanovski spoke of how Bracks had ignored the seats of Yan Yean and Mill Park, claiming that we were ignored for the rail extension due to the fact Labor thought they were safe seats. When asked what the Liberal Policy was, she stated that Liberal did not have a policy finalised and will announce their transport policy soon.

Greens candidate for Northern Metro and former Mayor of the City of Yarra, Mr Paul Barber commented that of all the rail extension needed in the state that the South Morang Rail extension was the easiest to achieve because the land was still owned by Victrack and all that needs to happen is for the tracks to be laid. Mr Barber not only committed his party to extending the rail line to South Morang, but also to Mernda and Epping North.

Mr Brian Mahwinney, candidate for People Power expressed the dire need to build the extension for people moving into the area such as, the elderly, youth, disabled and city based employees. He stated that we need to stand up against the government and show them that we won't accept being lied to, and we should support candidates who would impliment the extension as soon as possible.

PTUA spokesman Phil Bourke pointed to a display board that showed how the authorities in Perth could build a 70 km train line for $422 million when the Victorian Government claims it will cost $240 million for the South Morang Rail Extension which only will go 5 kms. He explained that the population would increase from 127,000 to 171,888 by 2021 and that these new residents would have no alternative but to use a car, choking the roads with congestion and poluting exhaust gas.

Mr Peters concluded the rally by stating that “…with 38,000 people moving in over the next 10 years, and the 30,000 plus people already in the catchment area, we need the rail extension now, not in 2021 as promised by the Bracks Government.


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