Greens call for AusLink 2 funding to go to public transport

By: Graham Gardiner


The Greens are calling for 25 percent of the AusLink 2 funding scheme for 2009-2014 be re-directed to metropolitan and

The Greens are calling for 25 percent of the AusLink 2 funding scheme for 2009-2014 be re-directed to metropolitan and regional public transport projects, rising to 50 percent after 2014.

Ahead of today’s hearing in Hobart of the Senate inquiry into public transport, Greens Senator Scott Ludlum says the Federal Government has not put any direct funding into public transport infrastructure since the mid-1990s.

"Instead it has funnelled billions into roads, leaving millions of Australians, including many people living in the outer areas of Hobart and other Tasmanian towns, with restricted access to public transport," he says.

"Tasmanian state governments have also failed to invest sufficiently in public transport. Without a passenger rail system, Tasmanians are reliant on a patchy bus service that disadvantages huge slabs of the State.

"Governments have overlooked the crucial role that public transport plays in building social inclusion and linking people in with their communities.

"The inquiry will audit Commonwealth and state funds in public passenger transport infrastructure and services and identify the gaps and the best way forward.

"We also propose public passenger transport be given priority in the allocation of funds from the Building Australia Fund."

Last year Ludlam, the Australian Greens Public Transport Spokesperson, initiated the first-ever Senate inquiry into public transport.

The inquiry's terms of reference and publicly-available submissions can be found here.

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