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Active Communities = Active Advocacy : Communities for Public Transport featured at the Sustainable Living Festival

By January 23, 20084 Comments

Communities for Public Transport is unique in that it places communities first and foremost in its advocacy efforts.

Communities for Public Transport, the public transport advocacy group established to represent and empower local communities, will be featured at Melbourne’s Sustainable Living Festival on Sunday the 17th of February at 10am.

The Sustainable Living Festival, an annual event held at Federation Square, aims to showcase organisations that inspire and promote sustainable communities.

I have been invited to deliver a presentation on Communities for Public Transport with the aim of providing advice on community advocacy and to highlight the key issues facing the campaign for public transport improvements in Melbourne and Victoria.

The ongoing inaction over public transport is emerging as a key issue within metropolitan Melbourne and now is the time for local communities to speak up and demand much needed public transport improvements. Rising petrol prices are adding severe financial pressures to many households, particularly those living in the outer suburbs where public transport is not readily available.

Public transport is also required to ensure an equitable Melbourne, where people of all abilities are able to participate in society. The State Government must accelerate disability compliance works to ensure that it exceeds the required milestones established under the Federal Government’s Disability Discrimination Act of 1992

The State Government must demonstrate that it is serious about making public transport improvements a priority. Traffic congestion is creating a severe impost on the economy with severe inflationary pressures undermining Melbourne’s productivity. In addition, Victoria’s greenhouse emissions are continuing unabated due to heavy car dependence.

Local communities know the public transport improvements they require and are best placed to advocate for the public transport improvements that will provide for a sustainable future. It is time for local communities to demand action and to find their voice. Melbourne and its outer suburbs must no longer tolerate poor train reliability, infrequent buses, a lack of nearby stations, inaction over tram extensions and an ongoing list of broken promises over rail extensions.

I encourage you to attend the presentation Active Communities = Active Advocacy at 10am in the design tent at the Sustainable Living Festival, Federation Square.

Alex Makin

Alex Makin

Alex Makin is a councillor for the Mullum Ward in the City of Maroondah. Alex has been a councillor since 2005, representing ratepayers, businesses, community groups and residents. I aim to continue making a difference and welcome any thoughts you may have in regard to life, community and business in Maroondah. Phone: (03) 9870 8202 or 0408 311 645 Email:


  • david bramwells says:

    The aims of the sustainable living festival all are encompassed by the Linear City Project.

    The trouble in Australia at the present moment is that we are in neutral and have no vision to work towards.

    Maintaining the Status Quo will inevitably turn this country into a dysfunctional dormitory Nation.

    All of the social ills, community infrastructure shortcomings that are growing expotentially through short sighted expediency of our present electoral system, that is being shamelessly and cycnically explioted by the political parties whose mealy mouthed duplicity and hypocrisy are grinding this country into the dirt.

    When the politcal parties have the decency, intelligence and honesty to look into the faces of other people and see human beings and not cattle looking back, then we will take the first steps down the road towards a shared and equal society that restores the virtues of compassion, dignity, respect, empathy, consideration and decency to all of us.

    This is the point of view of a bloke who lives in a little house, in a little street in a little town

  • Alex Makin says:

    Hello David,

    Thank you for your comments, I certainly agree with your sentiments. There has been an ongoing lack of vision, which has resulted in reluctance to provide the necessary community infrastructure.

    Communities for Public Transport aims to help change that by energising local communities, ultimately local politicians are accountable to their local constituents and when these residents start speaking out it should form a catalyst for action.

    Public transport advocacy in Victoria, has traditionally been dominated by groups that are very hierarchical in nature which as a result lack the necessary close community connections. An organisation based in the CBD is only ever going to have a limited influence on improving public transport in the suburbs or beyond.

    Instead, the focus needs to be on engaging local residents and providing them with the skills necessary to lead their own advocacy efforts. A local resident who lives within their community knows firsthand what they need to ensure a social, economic and environmental wellbeing.



  • Sarah says:

    Hi Alex,

    Great to see a community focused public transport lobby group. Rising petrol prices are making it harder to make ends meet and yet we still have buses that are infrequent and a train network that hasn’t been extended since the 1930s. When will the government finally do something?



  • Alex Makin says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for your comments. I certainly agree that public transport improvements are urgently required, particularly in our outer suburbs. Communities for Public Transport aims to empower local communities since they know the improvements that are required in their local area.

    Communities for Public Transport will be holding a series of public meetings to assist residents in lobbying for public transport improvements.



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