Public transport low priority


With the elections nearing, ABC has a look online at the public transport stances of the major parties

Public transport low priority
Public transport low priority

By Amie Hickland | September 2, 2013

Coming up to the September 7 federal elections, the major parties have announced their plans for public transport into the future – although an industry expert thinks more could be done.

The parties have all identified public transport in general as an issue and funding is high on the agenda for some.

The Greens plan to build more public transport networks, while Australian Labor plans to invest billions in public transport.

The Nationals emphasise the need for more effective infrastructure.

Bus Industry Confederation Executive Director Michael Apps says each of the political parties could be doing a lot more with public transport and infrastructure - although the government is "streets ahead" of the coalition.

"I think they’ve been on the right track for a while," he says.

"The coalition’s got some good ideas in the concept of infrastructure… and we would hope those ideas would lead to more consideration in public transport and infrastructure."

The Greens announced a plan late this week to move $2.2 billion of federal funding from motorways to a new Western Sydney light rail network to Parramatta CBD and a new Inner West light rail network, according to their website.

"The Greens will stop funding new private urban motorways, which just induce more traffic and push road tolls onto motorists to deliver profits for the banks and road developers.

"Our transport vision is to build new public transport services - trains, buses and light rail - and safe bicycle and pedestrian routes. We can make our cities better places to live and work, create a healthier lifestyle and increase productivity."

Australian Labor announced late this week, if elected, they would appoint Australia’s first Minister for Cities and establish an Outer Suburban Growth Taskforce to develop a comprehensive Ten Year Jobs and Growth strategy for our cities’ outer suburbs.

This strategy includes investing $13.6 billion in public transport infrastructure.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says in the statement the strategy will tackle the pressures on people living in the outer suburbs, including transport congestion and long commutes.

The Nationals Policy Platform 2013 emphasises the need for more transport infrastructure in regional Australia.

"The Nationals understand the importance of transport infrastructure – by road, rail, air and sea – to regional Australia. We know that people and businesses in regional Australia must rely on modern transport networks for their livelihoods and lifestyles," the policy reads.

See the parties’ websites for more information: www.greens.org.au, www.nationals.org.au, www.alp.org.au

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