How to vote for public transport this Saturday

15/11/2006 — ‘Must try harder on transport’, says policy report card

An assessment of transport policies for this weekend’s state election has shown most parties lack the vision to adequately address congestion, high fuel prices and greenhouse emissions, the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) said today.

“Transport has been a hot issue in this election campaign,” said PTUA President Daniel Bowen. “Unfortunately most of the parties have failed to produce a compelling vision for transport that will encourage people out of their cars and reduce congestion, oil dependence and greenhouse emissions. This is reflected in the mediocre scores we’ve given to most parties contesting the election.”

The PTUA has been compiling a scorecard of transport policies to assess their impact on the efficiency, quality and sustainability of the transport system. The scorecard outlines the merits of particular policies and gives each party a grade ranging from A to F. The scorecard is being regularly updated at: www.ptua.org.au/election2006

“The best package of institutional reforms and improvements to infrastructure and services is that of the Greens,” said Mr Bowen. “The Greens propose an accountable management structure to guide efficient provision of infrastructure and services, along with effective integration with planning and other services. The Greens’ policy has earned an A.”

“The Democrats’ transport policy also shows a great deal of promise”, said Mr Bowen. “However, some relatively minor misguided proposals saw their grade reduced to A minus.”

Mr Bowen noted that while many of the minor parties committed to the establishment of a lean, accountable agency to better plan and manage public transport services, this important reform is so far lacking from the major parties’ commitments. “The major parties have announced a range of selective infrastructure and service improvements, so we’ve given them pass marks, with the Liberal Party currently leading the ALP by a small margin. However, neither major party has outlined a vision that will ensure transport services are better planned, managed and integrated on an ongoing basis. In the absence of further announcements, we’ve given the Liberals a C plus and the ALP a C.” (*)

Mr Bowen also said that it was not too late for the parties to improve their grades by releasing further policies aimed at improving the management and quality of public transport. “We’ll be constantly monitoring policy announcements from each of the parties, and their impact on congestion, car dependence and greenhouse emissions. A commitment to fundamental institutional reform and service improvements across Melbourne and Victoria could earn any of the parties a top grade”, concluded Mr Bowen.

2006 State election scorecard

(*) Some ratings have been changed since this media release was first published, in line with transport policy and other announcements made since.

Contact the PTUA