Scorecard: Federal election 2007

Updated 15/11/2007

Democrats Family First Greens Labor Liberal/National
Overall score

Many sound policies on public transport and land use planning, though spoiled with unwarranted enthusiasm for biofuels and proposals for major new road projects.

Family First outdo the major parties in support for federal funding of urban public transport, but nonetheless fail for their unrelenting advocacy of more roads and cheaper petrol. Many gaps show some issues appear not to have been considered.

A commendable policy that says all the right things, though with a tendency to aspirational statements rather than prescriptive details.

Apparently no support at all for Federal funding of public transport, in contrast with promises for big new roads. Only their support for real action on climate change keeps them above a failing grade.

Have promised funding for some rail freight and rail-related road projects, but in an overall context of business-as-usual on roads, tax concessions and increasing greenhouse emissions and oil vulnerability.


…Full details below…

Issue PTUA position Democrats Family First Greens Labor Liberal/National
Auslink Revise the AusLink criteria to ensure that urban and rural
public transport is funded on the same terms as urban and rural roads, using transparent triple bottom line criteria that take into account
future oil supply scenarios and greenhouse impacts.

Require that all proposals for road funding under AusLink
be evaluated alongside a sustainable transport alternative, and that
the community be consulted on the formulation of alternative options.

Pool state and Commonwealth transport funding and allocate to road, rail and public transport, according to clear criteria, including greenhouse.

Substantial funding for integrated public transport – rail, light rail and bus networks and transit lanes on urban freeways with a priority for those metro areas where transport services are poor.

A greenhouse trigger in Federal environmental laws for major infrastructure projects.


Reform the national transport plan and its funding mix to take account of environmental, social, and economic goals.  Rewrite the Auslink Corridor Strategies, now in draft form.

Include ecological sustainability as a funding criterion for all federal development and infrastructure programs.

Reallocate 25% of Auslink2 funding to sustainable transport infrastructure.  Revise guidelines to ensure funding is available for urban and regional public transport.

New road projects proposed by State governments “should” include public transport alternatives.

Increased opportunities for the community to participate in transport planning.


No changes to criteria. See below for specific projects funded. No changes to criteria. See below for specific projects funded.
Issue PTUA position Democrats Family First Greens Labor Liberal/National
Petrol and energy vulnerability Include consideration of likely oil futures in scenario planning and assessment criteria for all transport projects.

Reduce oil dependency through support for high occupancy transport modes.

Do not mandate volume-based targets for biofuel blending.

Do not grant concessional tax treatment to biofuels without world’s-best practice  certification on social and environmental sustainability.

Excise on alternative fuels removed until agreed targets have been met.

Ban on blends of more than 10% ethanol lifted and mandatory biofuel targets of 20% of all petrol and diesel sold phased in by 2020.  Ethanol petrol blend (E10 and E85) availability mandated at all outlets.


See tax reform
 ( Bad Bad)

Ensure Auslink’s Corridor Strategies address the issues of oil vulnerability and greenhouse gas mitigation.

Reduce vehicle dependence and improve fuel efficiency by redesigning Australian cities and investing in public transport.

Support R&D and commercialisation of sustainable alternative fuels such as ‘second generation’ biofuels.

10% biofuel target by 2020.( Bad)

Mandatory fuel-efficiency labelling of new vehicles.


Extend Ethanol Distribution Programme.

Pilot lignocellulosic ethanol plant.

Biofuels information campaign.

B20 fuel vehicle trial.

Continue Alternative Fuel Conversion Programme.


Issue PTUA position Democrats Family First Greens Labor Liberal/National
Tax reform

Do not reduce taxes on petrol.  Reintroduce automatic indexation of fuel excise.

Reform FBT to remove incentives to drive further.

Remove GST on public transport fares.

FBT reformed to encourage public transport, cycling and car pooling.

Cut petrol tax by 10 cents per litre.
 Bad Bad

Repeal FBT concessions for company and leased vehicles.

Remove the GST on public transport.

 Good Good

The ALP National Platform states that Labor will look at “reform of the inequitable tax treatment of public transport as against employer-provided, car transport”, however this is yet to manifest itself in federal ALP policy.

Issue PTUA position Democrats Family First Greens Labor Liberal/National
Metropolitan public transport infrastructure Reallocate Frankston ‘bypass’, West Gate and other Auslink urban road funding to rail extensions in outer suburban Melbourne.  (Rowville, Doncaster, South Morang and/or Cranbourne East)

Recommit to Knox city tram extension.

Rail services extended to residential developments on the city fringe and modernised and high quality sub-regional feeder and circumferential bus services provided.
 Good Good

Make a substantial investment in public transport to supplement state government investment. Priority given to public transport investment in the outer suburbs and regional areas.

A comprehensive, integrated public transport system, with critical components  publicly owned and controlled.

A public transport system that is more attractive than private car use.


The ALP National Platform states that Labor will “provide appropriate financial assistance to State governments to improve and extend public transport systems in urban and regional Australia”, however this is yet to manifest itself in federal ALP policy.


Issue PTUA position Democrats Family First Greens Labor Liberal/National
Regional public transport infrastructure Reallocate Auslink funding from major rural highways in Victoria to restoring derelict rail lines (eg. Ballarat-Mildura) See also Freight.

See metro public transport infrastructure. Better transport services in rural and regional areas.

See also Freight.

Issue PTUA position Democrats Family First Greens Labor Liberal/National
Freight Begin standardisation work in Victoria, commencing with orphaned Mt Gambier line and working eastward.

Fund Corio Independent Goods Line.

Fund restoration of rail to Webb Dock.

The east coast route modernised, multi-modal exchanges, rail links into ports and nationally consistent regulations, codes and communication systems provided. Fast train services extended to all major airports and regional centres and linking Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide for rapid, low emissions passenger and freight travel.

Raise the rail network to a standard which enables operation of fast freight and passenger trains, including between mainland capital cities.

See road funding.

$50m to improve rail access to Port of Geelong.

No other rail initiatives announced.

$170m towards Port of Melbourne rail freight upgrades

$80m towards rail standardisation at Geelong

$80m towards rail upgrades in western Victoria

Issue PTUA position Democrats Family First Greens Labor Liberal/National
Metropolitan road funding No new major urban road expansion.

Level crossing grade separations, beginning with: Springvale Road, Nunawading; Springvale Road, Springvale; Clayton Road, Clayton; Glenferrie Road, Kooyong; Toorak Road,
Malvern; Burke Road, Gardiner; Riversdale Road, Camberwell and Glen Huntly
Road, Glen Huntly.

Invest in core infrastructure including ports, rail and road to support our growing export economy and to remove costly bottlenecks.

More funding for new and better roads and to fix dangerous intersections and black spots across the country.

Roads should be publicly funded from tax revenue (rather than tolls).


A transport system, including roads…. that is safe, environmentally sound, efficient and reliable.

Eliminate level crossings in urban areas.

 Good Good

$900m towards Western Ring Road widening (total $2.25b)

$120m towards Westgate bridge works (total $240m)


$80m to fund two road bridges over the train line to Mernda (one of these being beyond the rail extension currently planned for next decade by the state government), on condition of the line being built ( Good)

$200m towards Westgate bridge works

$150m towards Frankston bypass (freeway)

$80m towards Springvale/Whitehorse Roads, Nunawading, including level crossing ( Good)

$36m towards Calder Fwy/Kings Rd intersection

$25m towards Clyde Road, Berwick duplication

$5m towards noise barriers on the Princes Hwy, Beaconsfield


Issue PTUA position Democrats Family First Greens Labor Liberal/National
Regional road funding Reallocate funding from road widening and ‘upgrade’ projects to maintaining local roads and bridges in rural areas. See also metro road funding.
See also metro road funding.


Ensure presence of signals on all crossings in rural and regional parts of the national rail network.

$107.5m for Stages 4A and 4B of the Geelong Ring Road

$604m for Western Hwy upgrade

$140m towards duplication of Princes Hwy Sale to Traralgon

 Bad Bad

$216m towards Western Hwy upgrade (Anthony’s Cutting)

$244m towards Western Hwy upgrade (east of Ballarat)

$350m towards Western Hwy upgrade Ballarat to Stawell

$288m towards Nagambie Bypass

$250m towards duplication of Princes Hwy Sale to Traralgon

$30m towards Calder Hwy upgrade at Ravenswood

$45m towards Stage 4B of Geelong Ring Road, conditional on State funding the remainder plus duplication to Colac

 Bad Bad

Issue PTUA position Democrats Family First Greens Labor Liberal/National
Urban planning Integrate transport and land use planning under a transit-oriented development framework.

Work with State governments to protect recognised green zones in metropolitan areas and limit future urban growth to defined rail corridors.

Legislate to ensure releases of Commonwealth land for development comply with relevant State planning provisions and are subject to due process including community and stakeholder consultation.

Moratorium on residential expansion on the fringes of capital cities and a shift of growth to regional centres and underutilised urban land. Transport reform objectives applied to urban planning for all land use change.

Release more land suitable for housing.

Integrate planning and transport.

Develop national urban planning standards that provide for the location of high density housing and commercial buildings close to high capacity public transport; and the clustering of medium-density housing, community facilities and small-scale businesses around neighbourhood shopping centres.


Release more Commonwealth land for housing.
Expedite the disposal of ten parcels of Commonwealth land, totalling 961 hectares, in NSW,
Vic, Qld, SA and the ACT.
Issue PTUA position Democrats Family First Greens Labor Liberal/National
Active transport Use funds diverted from urban freeway projects to build cycleways and footpaths in  major cities.

Fund bicycle parking facilities at railway stations.

Safe off-road walking and cycling networks for commuters. Improved local access to public transport for pedestrians and cyclists.

More cycle ways and footpaths to encourage walking, cycling and public transport use in towns and cities to reduce the need for private car ownership and use.

Issue PTUA position Democrats Family First Greens Labor Liberal/National

Other parties

  • Democratic Labor Party (DLP) — Better encouragement of public transport use, including by parliamentarians in metropolitan areas; recognition that public transport is a service that does not need to earn a profit. Nothing specific on transport funding.

See also: Summary and press release