A Senate report into public transport has highlighted the relationship between public transport and well-functioning cities, and the Abbott Government’s wilful neglect of both.
The report received evidence which affirms Federal Labor’s approach to cities, namely a role for the Commonwealth Government and funding for urban public transport.
Evidence submitted to this Senate inquiry from a diverse range of stakeholders across Australia all say the same thing – our cities are critical to Australia’s productivity.
The report also highlights that since coming into office, cities policy under the Abbott Government is non-existent.
The Coalition Senator’s Dissenting Report shows how confused that Coalition is when it comes to our cities and public transport.
On the one hand it states, “the Federal Government would welcome the opportunity to be in a position to fund more economic infrastructure, including those public transport projects that unlock the economic potential of our cities”.
But on the other hand we have a Prime Minister who refuses to fund urban rail claiming the Commonwealth Government should “stick to its knitting” and only fund roads.
This report makes for compelling reading, particularly for this recalcitrant Government. Our cities need all modes of infrastructure funding, not just roads.
The report’s most important recommendation is for the Abbott Government to take a leadership role in urban policy, and work with states and territories to realise the full potential of our cities.
I urge the Abbott Government to adopt this report’s recommendations and fund transport, including road and rail projects, on a mode neutral basis.