This morning, as part of the Eastern Transport Coalition’s campaign for federal funding of public transport infrastructure, I was at Ringwood Station discussing the need for federal leadership with rail and bus passengers.
While the provision of public transport is a state responsibility, federal involvement would help ensure that State Governments are held into account. As an example, federal involvement with the third track to Ringwood would help ensure that the State Government honours its 1999 election commitment of providing a track track between Box Hill and Ringwood.
A suitable model already exists for federal involvement in state issues, whereby the Federal Government pledged $80 million for the grade separation of the level crossing at Springvale Road, Nunawading. This commitment included $1.5 million directed to local government to undertake the necessary feasibility studies and it demonstrates the partnerships that could be created between local councils and the Federal Government.
This model needs to be expanded so that it includes the potential for local government to undertake the design and feasibility work for public transport projects. Public transport improvements are required to reduce traffic congestion to save money for families that are struggling under rising petrol prices.