PTUA presents inaugural Paul Mees Award to ‘people power’ transport activists

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has presented the inaugural Paul Mees Award for transport advocacy to Darren Peters and Trevor Carroll of the South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance.

Trevor Carroll and Darren Peters of the South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance, accepting the inaugural Paul Mees Award

PTUA Tony Morton presented the award to Mr Peters and Mr Carroll at the PTUA’s 2013 Annual General Meeting.

“Darren and Trevor are worthy recipients of this inaugural Paul Mees Award”, said Dr Morton. “They are a great example of ‘people power’, working hard, battling bureaucracy and politicians to bring better outcomes for their local community.

“They have laboured tirelessly to bring much-needed rail services to the northern suburbs, and the fact that trains now run to South Morang is due in no small part to their campaigning.

“They continue to push for a further rail extension to Mernda, and the PTUA is right behind them.

“The fact that governments of both sides have resisted providing fast frequent efficient public transport into all parts of Melbourne was a damning indictment on the state of transport planning in Victoria.”

Dr Morton said that the loss of Dr Mees had left a big gap in transport advocacy. “Paul was a fierce campaigner for public transport, and is greatly missed. In making this award, we hope it can help in some way to ensure his legacy lives on.”

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The Paul Mees Award was inaugurated in 2013 by the Public Transport Users Association. It commemorates the outstanding work of the late Paul Mees as an advocate for public transport and a world-renowned transport academic. Paul Mees was best known publicly for his highly-visible and tireless promotion of the role public transport as president of the PTUA from 1993 to 2001. He was also known to many as a teacher and researcher at Melbourne University and RMIT University.

He was also one of the world’s leading transport scholars and policy innovators, making his mark through numerous papers and presentations and two influential books, “A Very Public Solution: Transport in the Dispersed City” (2000) and “Transport for Suburbia: Beyond the Automobile Age” (2010).

However, Paul Mees in no way confined his activities to the academic sphere or to peer-reviewed journals. He fearlessly disseminated and debated his ideas in the public realm. He was never scared of shining a light into dark corners and to question what the politicians, bureaucrats and the community might have assumed was good policy and practice.