A survey of 1000 people commissioned by the Melbourne based Eastern Transport Coalition and conducted by the Australian Research Group has shown that a majority of voters in key eastern Melbourne Federal electorates want the Federal Government to consider funding public transport as well as roads.

ETC Chairperson, Cr Mick Van de Vreede said that congestion was a major problem in the east of Melbourne and because of major holes in the public transport network meant people often had no option.

71% of people use cars to get to work and 61% would use public transport if the option was available.

“The Federal Government can help provide that option, 62% of respondents said it was not acceptable that the Federal Government provided funding for major roads but not for public transport infrastructure.

The Federal Government currently provides billions of dollars for major road infrastructure and they refuse to ee public transport as a viable alternative. The fact is however public transport can achieve the same ends, taking private cars off the roads, helping reduce greenhouse gas emission and leaving road space for freight.

Our local residents don’t want to see each level of Government blame each other, 76% believed the State and Federal Governments should share the cost for all necessary public transport infrastructure.

“In Melbourne’s east we have a number of key projects which would make Melbourne’s transport work better, we want the Federal Government to change its transport funding policies so they can be considered. The rojects which would make a difference for us are;

  • Heavy Rail to Rowville,
  • Increased capacity of Belgrave, Lilydale and Dandenong Lines,
  • Heavy Rail to Doncaster,
  • Upgrades to transport Interchanges such as Ringwood Station.

“The Rowville Rail is a point in case. If it were built, 2400 cars or a freeway lane of traffic would be removed from our roads every hour.

“While the Federal Government don’t currently fund public transport projects, this has been recommended by the Federal parliamentary Committee on Environment and Heritage that the provision of Australian Government transport infrastructure funds ‘include provision of funding specifically for sustainable public transport infrastructure for suburbs and developments on the outer fringes of our cities.’

“The residents of Melbourne’s east clearly want the Federal Government to help improve our public transport,” Cr Van de Vreede concluded.

The sample for the survey was 1000 people in the Federal electorates within the ETC member Councils area.

For more information please contact;

ETC Chairperson Cr Mick Van De Vreede 0438 029 932
CPR Communications, Robert Larocca 0409 198 350

Read further to view polling data:

  • More than two in every three respondents travel to work by car (71%) with 68% driving themselves and a further 3% travelling as passengers.
  • Only 15% say they use public transport as their primary form of transport to work.
  • More than 70% of those surveyed said that they used public transport once a month or less. Only 8% use it every day.
  • Almost two thirds (64%) of respondents described their level of knowledge about public transport in their area as average or below. Only 9% described it as very high.
  • 40% of respondents reported encountering a very high level of congestion on major roads. A further 47% reported a high level.
  • 70% of respondents believe the State and Federal Governments should work together to fix congestion problems on major roads.

Public transport is the solution:

  • Four out of five respondents (81%) said they would like to take more steps to reduce their impact on the environment.
  • 73% of respondents believe that a lack of public transport impacted on their ability to do something about the environment.
  • 61% of respondents who travel to work by car indicated that they would be willing to consider public transport and 67% of those who take public transport to work said they would also consider using it more often.

The Federal government has a role:

  • 62% of respondents said it was not acceptable that the Federal Government provided funding for major roads but not for public transport infrastructure. This was most pointed in Aston where 70% of respondents said the situation was unacceptable.
  • More than three quarters of respondents (76%) believed the State and Federal Governments should share the cost for all necessary public transport infrastructure.
  • More than nine out of ten respondents said they thought governments should adequately fund public transport for the sake of the environment (91%), for economic reasons (92%) and to make life easier for families (93%).
  • Two thirds of respondents (67%) surveyed said that governments were not giving sufficient priority to provision of good public transport infrastructure in their local area.
  • More than four out of five respondents (83%) said that the issue of public transport infrastructure would be of importance when deciding who they would vote for in the next Federal election.
  • 80% of Coalition voters said they would consider public transport infrastructure when deciding on their vote.