WHAT DO YOU THINK? SHOULD KNOX COUNCIL KEEP PUSHING FOR ROWVILLE RAIL? SCROLL TO BELOW THIS STORY TO POST A COMMENT.
A KNOX councillor believes congestion in the eastern suburbs will have to get worse before governments will consider funding the Rowville Rail Project.
Cr Joe Cossari said the council needed to "change tack" to convince the state and federal governments that building the rail line would be a worthwhile investment.
"We're at a stalemate with the Rowville Rail. It's like the boy who kept crying wolf," he said.
"It's about time we stopped for a while and start again in the future."
His comments followed the release of a council-commissioned economic impact study of the Rowville Rail by SGS Economics and Planning at a council meeting last week.
The report will be presented to the state government to complement the council's contribution to the feasibility study. The report is estimated to have cost $100,000. One of the findings was that building the rail line would result in environment and economic savings of $5 billion over 50 years.
It also found that Knox would be likely to host an additional 1000 households and 700 employees if the project went ahead.
Cr Cossari said he was not happy with the results of the study because the job figures did not create an "urgent need" for the Rowville Rail to be built.
"It demonstrated no economic need; I want to create the economic need," he said.
While he maintained he was still a supporter of the project, Cr Cossari said the council first needed to make Knox the "capital of the eastern suburbs".
He said this meant the council needed to encourage high-density living, particularly in the areas near Knox City, and increase the population by 6000-7000 residents.
Cr Cossari said if there was more growth in the area, there would be more demand for the rail project.
"Let's create a worse problem. Let's keep talking about it and concentrate on creating the need."
However, the council's representative on the Eastern Transport Coalition, Cr Mick Van de Vreede, said he couldn't think of "a time when the stars had been any more aligned" for the project. "I believe it will be very hard for the politicians not to support this. If they can't see it, I'll be a monkey's uncle."