Further to the letter from Belinda last week – we have the response from the Manningham CEO – See below.
It seems Manningham still thinks there is an opportunity for Rail of some sort, even after the State Gov. published funding.
I acknowledge your comment and view expressed in your email of 14 February that Council’s expenditure in supporting a public advocacy position for Doncaster Rail is wasteful of municipal funds.
I also acknowledge your reasoning in quoting some of the publicly stated positions of Ministers Wooldridge and Mulder that point to Doncaster Rail being a medium to long term proposition.
However, given the combination of the Victorian State government undertaking the Doncaster Rail feasibility study and the lack of public transport options consistently being raised by the Manningham community as a high priority, we do have a responsibility and are compelled to engage in opportunities that explore how additional public transport infrastructure, such as the Doncaster Rail proposal, can be achieved on behalf of the vast majority of our community.
Notwithstanding the State government’s intended investment on road-based infrastructure projects, Council is pushing for a much needed and significant increase in more public transport options, be that heavy rail, bus or light rail.
Also, just for clarification, I advise that the actual cost to Council for the newspaper advertorial you referred to in your email was considerably less than the $4,600 figure quoted in your email. Council’s expenditure on the advertorial was less than $1,550.
I hope this addresses your concerns and further clarifies Council’s position.