The comments and viewpoints in this document are provided on an exception basis. They reflect where Rail Futures Institute’s views are at variance to those expressed in the Draft Strategy or where we consider that a significant omission exists.
Rail Futures Institute (RFI) believes there is much to commend and support in Infrastructure Victoria’s (IV) Draft 30 year strategy (the Draft Strategy) and congratulates your organisation on its efforts to date. In particular, we strongly endorse your nomination of the three most important actions for government to take in the short to medium term. However, there are supporting policies and actions that would serve to underpin and further strengthen these proposals that we strongly advocate for inclusion in the final Strategy:
- Increasing population densities in established areas in regional cities and peri-urban townships, as well as in Melbourne, to make better use of existing infrastructure.
- Introducing a comprehensive transport pricing regime to manage demands on the network, not only to assist in spreading peak period demand, but also to maintain the policy of flat or lightly tapered public transport fare structures to offset the costs of longer distance commuting from regional cities, peri-urban townships and from Melbourne’s growth areas. Lengthy commuting times are unavoidable as long as massive gaps exist between places where people live and to where they must travel for employment, education and to access specialist health facilities.
- Investing in social and affordable housing for vulnerable Victorians to significantly increase supply, including in regional towns and cities where most land values are substantially lower than in Melbourne.
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