report from the roundtable - 28 may
At this week's council meeting I
moved a motion that Council:
1. Write to
the Federal Opposition Leader, Mr Tony Abbott, with a copy to Tony Smith MP, advocating
for Federal funding to be allocated to urban public transport projects.
the Premier of Victoria and Minister for Public Transport of Council’s
I have been very concerned about comments made by Federal
Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, where he said
"We have no history of funding urban rail and I think it’s
important that we stick to our knitting and the Commonwealth’s knitting when it
comes to funding infrastructure is roads.”
As chairperson of the Eastern Transport Coalition,
which comprises seven municipalities from Melbourne’s East, (City of Greater
Dandenong, City of Knox, City of Manningham, City of Maroondah, City of Monash,
City of Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges Council) representing approximately one
million residents, I am acutely aware of the importance of federal funding for
urban rail projects.
The Eastern Transport Coalition advocates for sustainable
and integrated transport services to reduce the level of car dependency to
secure the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of Melbourne’s outer
east and aims to work in partnership with Federal and State Governments to
ensure the future sustainability of Eastern Melbourne.
The ETC has over many years advocated for funding of
public transport improvements by the Federal Government in partnership with the
The ETC has welcomed Federal investment in public
transport over recent years and is encouraged by the recent release of the
Federal budget for 2013/14, with the government committing to support the
Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel, subject to matching funding from the State. The Federal opposition however has declared a coalition government would not
invest in urban rail projects, which is of great concern.
The government has established Infrastructure
Australia to provide advice on strategic projects for the country.
Infrastructure Australia advises governments,
investors and infrastructure owners on a wide range of issues. These include:
From their website;
current and future infrastructure needs
for financing infrastructure investments, and
pricing and regulation and their impacts on investment and on the
efficiency of the delivery, operation and use of national infrastructure
Infrastructure Australia believes that, to maintain the economic success
and environmental sustainability of Australia's cities, the time has come for
an unprecedented commitment to the creation of world-class public transport in
Infrastructure Australia is therefore recommending, for the first time
in Australian history, significant Australian Government investment in public
transport in our cities.
A number of immediate priorities are identified, alongside a list of
future public transport projects which, although still under development, show
real potential to transform our cities.
Infrastructure Australia recommends targeted investment in innovative
public transport systems which drive productivity and urban renewal in our
major cities to maintain their economic success and environmental
Melbourne’s East continues to require improvements in
public transport such as the extension of heavy rail to Doncaster, extension of
heavy rail to Rowville, duplication of single track sections of the Belgrave
and Lilydale line, upgrading of the Dandenong rail corridor, removal of at grade
level crossings, bus service improvements and other public transport efficiency
improvements. Many of the improvements to the rail network in Melbourne rely on
the construction of the Melbourne Metro tunnel to build capacity in the
Without support from the Federal government, the State
government will not be able to deliver these projects for many decades to
come. It is therefore imperative that
funding support for public transport is provided at a Federal level to meet
community needs, achieve economic success, and ensure ongoing environmental
case for federal funding needs to be made in the strongest possible terms as to
why it's so important for Yarra Ranges, let alone the east of Melbourne.
I'm pleased to report the motion was supported unanimously by councillors (note Crs McCarthy and Avery absent).
Labels: cr samantha dunn, eastern transport coalition, etc, federal election, funding, Melbourne metro, public transport, shire of yarra ranges