This evening’s Eastern Transport Coalition (ETC) meeting focused on the seven key focus areas including:
- Public transport interchanges;
- Bus services and bus priority;
- Train extension to Rowville and Doncaster;
- Rail improvements along the Ringwood line;
- Rail improvements along the Dandenong line, and
- Federal Funding of urban public transport infrastructure;
A series of factsheets are being prepared to highlight the importance of these priorities. The ETC will be utilising a number of opportunities, including the Melbourne 2030 audit, to demonstrate the importance between integrating land use planning and transport.
In regard to the federal funding campaign, the ETC will be sending a delegation to Canberrra to seek an audience with the Minister and Shadow Ministers for Transport. The Federal Parliament’s Sustainable Cities Inquiry highlighted the need for a national approach for urban transport to assist in mitigating rising congestion costs and greenhouse emissions.
While this may give the appearance of shifting responsibilities from the State to Federal Government, it in fact ensures a greater level of accountability. For example, if the Federal Government provided partial funding for the triplication of the rail line to Ringwood it would prevent the State Government from backing away from its 1999 promise to deliver the third track.
Australia remains the only OECD nation where the Federal Government does not provide funding for urban public transport infrastructure, with cities around the world investing heavily in public transport Australia runs the risk of being left behind reducing our international competitiveness.