We Support Doncaster Rail
Ultimately, Manningham requires a mass transit solution to its public transport woes, and, through the partially completed Doncaster Rail Study, rapid transit heavy rail has been found to be a viable solution.
By 2030, Council expects that Doncaster Hill will accommodate more than 10,000 residents and 5,400 apartments, along with several commercial offices in the area, and a possible expansion of Westfield Doncaster – all of which will generate significant traffic congestion without mode shift to public transport, which a rail station on the Hill would accommodate
However, PTV have advised that rail to Doncaster cannot be delivered until 2029, at the earliest.
Therefore, Council will continue to strongly advocate to the State Government for a commitment to plan, fund and deliver rail to Doncaster Hill by 2029, and in the interim, secure the Eastern Freeway reservation / corridor for public transport purposes. Council’s advocacy will continue to be facilitated by our Integrated Transport Advisory Committee
Where are we now?
In October 2014, the former Liberal State Government released the findings of the final ‘Doncaster Rail Study: Phase One Recommendations Report’ confirming that a rail line between the CBD and Doncaster Park and Ride is feasible. Further to this, Public Transport Victoria (PTV) suggested that rail to Doncaster should be delivered by 2029, as part of the delivery of Stage 3 of rail infrastructure projects contained in their ‘Network Development Plan – Metropolitan Rail’, (PTV, 2012). However, to date, the current Labor State Government has not committed to proceeding with Phase Two of the Study and has not provided any further commitment on the matter. Therefore, Council’s efforts throughout 2015 and 2016 have involved ongoing advocacy to encourage the State Government to fund and commit to complete Phase Two of the Study, with the purpose of Phase Two involving an investigation of the engineering and environmental implications of the preferred ‘Rapid Transit’ alignment, station locations, funding mechanisms to pay for the project and further understand what needs to be done to ensure the rail line is extended as far as Doncaster Hill.
Irrespective of the above, Council has continued to advocate for Doncaster Rail namely in association with activities and advocacy undertaken by the former Doncaster Rail Advocacy Steering Committee (DRASC) throughout 2014/15, and the newly established Integrated Transport Advisory Committee (ITAC) from 2016.
What is the 'Phase Two' Study?
As a part of Council’s ongoing advocacy for Doncaster Rail, consultants URS (who also undertook the State Government-led Phase 1 study) were commissioned by Council to assess what milestone-related tasks need to be undertaken (by all relevant stakeholders) between now and 2029, in order to ensure that the Doncaster Rail project can be successfully delivered by this date. URS’s findings have been outlined in the ‘Doncaster Rail Prospective Implementation Program’ report, containing recommendations to guide Council in its short-term advocacy objectives.
The URS report concludes that Phase Two of the Feasibility Study needs to be completed by October 2016, as the first of many milestones that will require to be progressively achieved.
In PTV’s ‘Metropolitan Rail Network Development Plan’, it is clearly stated that completing ‘detailed planning work’ for Doncaster Rail is a matter of priority, in order to ensure the delivery of the Doncaster Rail Line by 2029. This cannot be achieved unless the State Government reassesses its position regarding the completion of stage two of the Doncaster Rail Study.
The URS Report was commissioned to assist Council to continue its advocacy on Doncaster Rail. This report identifies the necessary advocacy steps and actions required to ensure that the delivery of Doncaster Rail can be achieved by 2029, which is the delivery time that is supported by Public Transport Victoria (PTV) within their published ‘Network Development Plan – Metropolitan Rail, 2012’.
The URS Report seeks to identify where Council should focus its short-term advocacy efforts to encourage the State Government to plan and prepare for the future construction of Doncaster Rail, if the project is to be realistically delivered within 15 years. This approach acknowledges the current Labor Government’s transport priorities (of which Doncaster Rail is presently not one) by seeking to continue further investigation and assessment of the project, rather than the delivery of the physical infrastructure within their current term of government.