With a federal election date now set, the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has called on the parties to commit to improving public transport infrastructure to reduce greenhouse emissions and provide relief from high petrol prices and congestion.
“Each day the science on climate change is becoming more certain, more alarming and clearer in the urgency it demands,” said PTUA President Daniel Bowen. “Climate is clearly the big issue in this election unless we want constant drought and water shortages, dearer food, more frequent and damaging storms and bushfires, and rising sea levels. We need a climate strategy that addresses all significant carbon sources, including transport.”
A recent PTUA report on federal transport policy found that “transport is one of the largest and fastest growing contributors to Australia’s greenhouse emissions, growing by 30% from 1990 to 2005”. The report also noted that most of these emissions came from cars and trucks.
“Most Australians would like to reduce their car use to do their bit for the environment, but local public transport services are inadequate,” said Mr Bowen. “The national governments of all other developed countries invest in public transport infrastructure, so it’s time for the Australian Government to do so too.”
The PTUA report on federal transport policy found that improved public transport would help to achieve a wide range of federal policy objectives. “Public transport can help to reduce the burden on the health system, minimise congestion, reign in our rising oil import bill and cut greenhouse emissions. We urge candidates in this election to back public transport with real investment,” concluded Mr Bowen.