SOS is predicting Labor will announce an extra $20m for the station redevelopment in the last weeks of the election campaign. They will want you to believe this addresses the disability access issues and previously unfunded traffic controls.
DON’T BE FOOLED BY THIS! IT DOESN’T GO CLOSE.
The legal action commenced by Grampians disAbility Advocacy and the Disability Discrimination Legal Service is much broader than just providing a link between the two platforms in the Train Hall. It includes making the whole station more accessible – toilets and change facilities, tactiles, signage, self-opening doors, and more. Solving these issues will cost a lot more than $20m.
SOS believes Labor plans for the link between the platforms to be over-head. It will involve lifts, ramps, stairs, bridge and weather protection (as it is almost certain to go outside the eastern end of the Train Hall). This fails to respect the heritage buildings it will be built against. The SOS alternative solution of going underground to link platforms would be largely invisible and leave our heritage buildings intact and uncompromised.
That is a fail on both access and heritage grounds. And it is also a fail because the funding is insufficient.
Of course, it is entirely possible that as a result of SOS revealing Labor’s bluff, they will choose to NOT announce the $20m, because they can no longer expect anyone to believe that it isn’t a cynical attempt to fool the electors.
Instead, they might choose to just tough out any electoral damage, and hope they retain the seats of Wendouree and Buninyong on the strength of their other sweeteners to electors.
But that still doesn’t solve their problem of funding for traffic lights and re-engineering of Nolan St so it can take all the bus and additional car traffic. This is NOT included in the works contract at present. And then there are the cost over-runs on the project to date to cover.