The Eastern Transport Coalition (ETC) is comprised of seven municipal Councils in Melbourne’s East (City of Greater Dandenong, City of Knox, City of Manningham, City of Maroondah, City of Monash, City of Whitehorse and the Shire of Yarra Ranges) and represents nearly one million people. The Coalition’s Mission Statement is:

“The Eastern Transport Coalition will advocate for sustainable and integrated transport services in the eastern region of Melbourne, which focus on the travel needs of the community and reduce the level of car dependency.”

The purpose of this letter is to present our input for consideration as the Government frames its 2008-2009 Budget.

Our key two requests are:

  • The Federal Government allow urban public transport to be funded under AusLink or through the creation of specific programs.
  • The Federal Government provide funding for a number of urban public transport initiatives in Melbourne’s east.

Australia is facing immense challenges to create sustainable cities for the future. The nation faces water shortages, transport congestion and high energy demands and it is important to consider how we might tackle these issues in the future. Families are also facing rising fuel costs; a cost of living increase that you are aware is impacting their abilities to make ends meet. In many ways the answers to these challenges and issues is in public transport.

The local community knows this, their attitudes to local transport issues and the problems of climate change and congestion are contained in the attached research.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment and Heritage published a report on Sustainable Cities in August 2005 which looked at many of these concerns. The report was based on the Committee’s vision for Australian cities to be vibrant and environmentally, socially and economically healthy. Many individuals and organisations hold similar views. The Committee concluded that what was missing was a coordinated and concerted action plan, with the Federal Government leading.