Mulder captive to bureaucracy on transport: Mees


Academic derides new Victorian transport authority, labelling it "smoke and mirrors" and proof the bureaucracy runs the show

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | January 31, 2012

Old faces have been appointed to Victoria’s new public authority, with the "recycled" team bringing little hope that Melbourne’s transport issues will improve, a transport expert claims.

RMIT University lecturer in transport planning Paul Mees believes the appointment of senior leadership in the Public Transport Development Authority, which is designed to reduce the state’s public agencies and operations issues, will see the culture of old bureaucracy continue.

Five of the six directors who will start working for the authority in April are members of the existing Department of Transport.

"The whole thing is a smoke and mirrors exercise that in reality means that the same bureaucracy is carrying on with a few name changes and title changes," Mees says.

"What it means for the future is that the Victorian public who were promised something new and more dynamic are going to be very disappointed.

"The only basis for having a new authority would be to try and get some new knowledge in that can produce better outcomes compared to the poor outcomes we have had in the past."

Mees claims the new authority is proof the Department of Transport has Roads Minister Terry Mulder "under their control and he has allowed them to determine the agenda rather than determining it himself".

Mees has called for the government to engage the community and industry in discussion about fixing problems instead of sticking with the approach of the bureaucracy, which he says is not working.

He believes a widespread strategy that addresses freight in Melbourne is urgently needed.

"There is not much hope for the Transport Action Plan now unfortunately – at the state election little over a year ago the public voted for a change and Mr Mulder has basically told us that he’s decided not to change anything except the names," Mees says.

"After this, I’m not expecting much action on the Transport Action Plan."





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