The Metropolitan Transport Forum (MTF) and Eastern Transport Coalition (ETC), jointly representing 26 Melbourne Councils, have asked the Rudd Federal Government, to contribute to funding major urban public transport infrastructure projects. Both organisations also called on the Victorian Government to seek changes to Auslink to allow funding of public transport.
Cr Jackie Fristacky, MTF Deputy Chair and Cr Alex Makin, Acting Chairperson of the ETC, said there is broad agreement on the need for the Commonwealth to resume funding public transport, in the same manner as it does roads.
“The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) recently resolved that it will continue to campaign for ‘federal funding of urban transport systems’, a position supported by both the MTF and ETC.
“The new Rudd government has policy supporting Commonwealth funding; the Federal ALP platform states:
“…ensure that Australians have access to adequate transport services by providing appropriate financial assistance to State governments to improve and extend public transport systems in urban areas.”
“The Victorian Government advocated in 2006, for Auslink to include urban public transport.
“With a consensus that we need to take strong action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we are urging the new government to implement this policy and do what the last Federal ALP Government did, fund urban public transport.
“There are many projects in Victoria that require substantial capital investment and which would deliver large benefits in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, congestion and prohibitive costs of transport for struggling families.
“The Victorian Government could seek Commonwealth contribution to any one of a number of projects; examples being,
- Rail to Doncaster
- Rail to South Morang
- Rail to Rowville
- Rail to Torquay
“We look forward to the end of the blame game in public transport,” Cr Fristacky and Cr Makin concluded.
For more information or comment:
Cr. Alex Makin (ETC) Mobile: 0408 311 645
Cr Jackie M Fristacky (MTF) Mobile: 0412 597 794