31 August 2011
Showing their support for the State Government’s proposed Rowville Rail Link, members of the local community, staff and students of Monash and several colourful cardboard trains filled the Airport Lounge at the Clayton campus in an historic public forum yesterday.
The forum was an opportunity for the wider south eastern community to voice their views on the Rowville Rail Link and hear the positive benefits of the rail line.
Paul Barton, Director of Environmental Sustainability and MC of the event made the first major announcement of the day, explaining that the Rowville Rail Link Facebook page had attracted 3000 ticks of approval by local residents wanting to see the rail line come to fruition.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Ed Byrne addressed the audience, stating how important this rail extension would be. He reminded listeners that the proposed line would put residents within 30 minutes of the centre of Melbourne and explained that it would boost productivity, ensuring the region’s prosperity in the years ahead.
Professor Byrne was joined by rail planning expert and Rowville Rail Link study lead William McDougall who provided the audience with a brief history of the rail line and some interesting statistics which generated a series of questions from the crowd.
Several members of the audience were interested in additional modes of transport to support the rail line, such as a light rail and extra bus services, offering examples of successful rail lines in other major capital cities.
During the question and answer time, Esther Hood from the Monash Student Association explained that many students caught two, if not three, modes of transport to get to University. She said that having a new rail line would cut back on travel time to University and work, as well as providing safety for students who are waiting for public transport late at night.
The forum concluded with Paul Barton thanking the panel, and encouraging the community to get behind the push for the Rowville Rail Link, declaring “Next stop: Monash University!”
If you missed out on yesterday’s forum, you can find out more about the Rowville Rail Link through the Rowville Rail Link Facebook page.