On behalf of the Eastern Transport Coalition I would like to make the following submission for your consideration in the 2008-2009 State Budget.

With rising fuel prices, rising greenhouse gases and a rising cost of living the single thing that the State Government can do to help working families and the planet is increase expenditure on public transport.

The relationship between the environment, cost of living and public transport is an argument that has been acknowledged by the State Government, particularly in the policy Meeting our Transport Challenges. Whilst we applaud that policy, more needs to be done.

The state’s current long term housing policy, Melbourne 2030 also requires action. Councils that are members of the ETC broadly support Melbourne 2030 but also want to see expansion of public transport options. Increased public transport is critical if Melbourne is to remain a liveable city as it will reduce the need for each new dwelling to have a car, or, if on outer fringe two, three or four cars.

We firmly believe that this is the time for action to be taken. The election of the Federal Labor Government provides an unparalleled opportunity for cooperation on the most pressing issues of our time. At both levels governments have similar views and policies and this should be exploited to achieve cooperative funding outcomes for public transport.