Greens back cost call

The Greens have backed this morning’s call for an inquiry into social costs associated with Australia’s transport system

Greens back cost call
Greens back cost call

August 19, 2010

Greens Senator Christine Milne is
backing this morning’s call for a comprehensive inquiry into Australia's transport system focussing on congestion, safety, environmental degradation, climate change and energy security.

"The Greens have long been parliament's strongest advocates for re-thinking Australia's attitude to transport," Milne says.

The Australasian Railways Association, Bus Industry Confederation, Cycling Promotion Fund and International Association of Public Transport today called for a Productivity Commission report on costings associated with transport ‘externalities’.

The externalities the group want costed include urban congestion, road accidents, environmental degradation, climate change and energy security associated with Australia’s current transport use.

Milne says the Green’s support the creation of an advisory committee reporting to Infrastructure Australia to examine these issues.

"Our Safe Climate Bill, released last year, included a bill to set up an advisory committee reporting to Infrastructure Australia about the social and environmental costs of our current transport system as well as the best way to put it on a safer, more reliable and more sustainable footing," Milne says.

"With concerns about climate change growing, oil prices rising, safety not improving and congestion just getting worse, more and more Australians are looking for better alternatives to driving."

Milne says it’s a travesty that alternatives such as reliable public transport, cycleways or car-share arrangements are not available.

"The Greens have already successfully brought more attention to these issues in the

parliament with some major achievements under our belt," she says.

"It was the Greens who argued for and achieved a requirement for Infrastructure Australia to assess the climate change impacts of all proposed projects."

Milne says the Greens’ position is to re-designed cities over time to focus on people, instead of cars, with local hubs linked together by rapid, reliable mass transit and cycleways.

"Our policies for a substantial investment in road safety, a roll-out of light rail in Australia's major cities and re-prioritising AusLink funding from roads to sustainable alternatives have proven very popular around the country," she says.

"We welcome today's call and look forward to working with these groups after the election."

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