The Age has reported today on the combined submission from the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA), Environment Victoria and Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) to the Federal Government calling for Federal involvement in public transport infrastructure.
Australia is one of few industrialised nations in which the federal government does not contribute significant funds for public transport.
And the Federal Government’s own Parliamentary Committee into Sustainable Cities agreed with the thrust of the combined submission:
A federal parliamentary committee report last year – Sustainable Cities – called on the Federal Government to “significantly boost its funding commitment for public transport systems, particularly light and heavy rail, in the major cities”.
While a national approach towards urban public transport is required this does not excuse the State Government from involvement within public transport:
“There needs to be a national approach to building this infrastructure and this (the submission) shows that the State Government isn’t performing its role satisfactorily,” Mr Makin said.
The Federal Government funds road projects through AusLink, which requires matching State Government contributions, AusLink must be expanded to include urban public transport to ensure a consistent approach towards public transport and sustainability.