The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has achieved a number of successes in 2006 such as ensuring that public transport was seen as a key state election issue. The final committee meeting for the year provided the opportunity to reflect on these accomplishments while ensuring that a sold foundation is established for 2007.
In particular residents of Melbourne’s eastern suburbs made their voices heard in the November State Election with the government losing six outer eastern seats. The tight contests in a number of seats, such as Kilsyth and Ferntree Gully, clearly demonstrated the importance of public transport as an election issue.
In fact the government may have been able to such these seats had promises, such as the Knox tram, the Rowville rail line and service improvements along the Belgrave and Lilydale lines, been honoured by the and not simply forgotten by the now former MPs.
The PTUA was pleased with the discussions held with a number of candidates and newly elected MPs and we will continue this dialogue to ensure that these new MPs honour their commitment to public transport issues.
Melbourne’s southeast is also finding its voice on public transport issues with regular meeting at Springvale for what is currently a south-eastern sub-branch. In 2007 steps must be taken to formalise a southeastern branch and ensure that these residents in these areas have the same opportunity as Melbourne’s east in demanding public transport improvements.
The work of branches must be commended as they directly contributed to the PTUA’s successful lobbying efforts in the lead up to the State Election. This momentum however must not stop as it needs to continue throughout the four years to ensure that more than just rhetoric is delivered.