Like other committees, the Eastern Transport Coalition (ETC) has returned in january to hold its first meeting for 2008. Today’s meeting discussed the Eastern Transport Coalition’s submission to the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC) Inquiry into Liveability. This Inquiry was requested by the Victorian Treasurer, John Lenders, amid growing concern over Melbourne’s decline in liveability rankings.
The Eastern Transport Coalition submission will focus heavily on the need for an integrated transport and planning approach, which would curtail the excessive dominance of VicRoads in planning and transport policies. Furthermore the submission will also highlight the need for sustainable transport to assist in the liveability of my communities. For example, public transport improvements would provide an alternative to car dependence meaning that less income would be spent battling rising petrol prices and that less time would be wasted waiting in traffic congestion.
The VCEC Inquiry into traffic congestion clearly stated that the Government must do more to improve public transport. It is imperative that the State Government finally acts on the numerous inquiries it has called and realises that train, tram and bus improvements are urgently required.
Tonight’s meeting also discussed the strategic direction of the Eastern Transport Coalition. This year the ETC will continue to hold the State Government into account, while also pursuing the need for Federal Government investment in public transport infrastructure. Given that Australia is now a signatory to the Kyoto Treaty it is imperative that Federal leadership is provided to curb the rising greenhouse emissions associated with the transport sector. Public transport has the potential to assist in housing affordability by reducing car dependence and in reducing greenhouse emissions.
An action plan is currently being devised and is expected to be adopted at the next meeting.