Acting Chairperson of the ETC, Cr Alex Makin has called on the major parties to commit to federal funding of public transport given the clear community desire to see action in reducing the impacts of climate change.

“The new Federal Government has been elected on a platform of providing ‘appropriate financial assistance to State governments to improve and extend public transport systems in urban areas’ and we will campaign to see funding allocated to meet that commitment.

“As a first step we will meet the newly elected Federal members in our area and outline why federal funding is needed, looking in particular at the specific needs of Melbourne’s eastern and southeastern suburbs.

“As evidenced in a survey of 1000 voters, commissioned by the Australian Research Group, the majority of people believe that the Federal Government should consider funding major additions to urban public transport in the same manner it funds roads.

“We will continue to hold the State Government accountable and seek cooperation between the Federal Government to improve our urban public transport systems.

“We want the State Government to ask the Federal Government to include public transport in the AusLink program. This was a policy of the State Government in 2006 and we want to see them return to it.

“The ETC will be developing a submission that examines potential models for federal involvement in public transport infrastructure; we expect both the State and Federal Governments to support this initiative.

“Climate change was a key issue in the recent federal election. Any successful strategy to combat climate change must involve federal funding of public transport.

We call on the incoming government to live up to this commitment and for the opposition to reconsider its policies in regard to urban sustainability,” Cr Alex Makin concluded.