The ETC welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback in regard to the State Government’s Transport Legislation Review.
The ETC represents one million residents in Eastern Melbourne through its seven member councils. Through this representation, the ETC includes a number of prominent activity centres, including the Ringwood, Dandenong and Box Hill Transit Cities which are pivotal to the success of Melbourne 2030 and enhancing Melbourne’s liveability.
The ETC supports the premise of developing overarching transport legislation with the aim of ensuring a clear and united vision for the future of Victoria’s transport system. It is clear however that physical integration of departments, such as VicRoads and the Public Transport Division of the Department of Infrastructure, is required to ensure a cohesive vision and level playing field between transport projects.
Currently VicRoads as a statutory authority, enjoys a number of benefits that are not available to either the Coordinator-Generals Office or the Public Transport Division. While the State Government has undertaken some steps in attempting to improve coordination between departments, a combined transport authority diminishes the conflict that inevitably exists.
In this regard, the proposed Transport Integration Act should be defined as a tier of objectives to assist in weighting each criteria. Such objectives need to be defined in the context of ensuring a sustainable and equitable transport system that delivers the efficient movement of people and goods.
These objectives need to be reinforced through policy goals that are codified within the legislation, not dissimilar to proposed legislation designed to reduce greenhouse emissions. In this regard, the policy objective of increasing public transport modal share to 20% by the year 2020 needs to be explicitly stated as a goal of the proposed legislation, with policy objectives being designed to meet this goal.