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Media Release


Public Transport Group Applauds National Transport Plan

A Victory for Common Sense, says PTUA

The new AusLink national transport plan would help create a more efficient, environmentally friendly and socially just transport system for Australia, the Public Transport Users Association said today.

Under the AusLink strategy, announced yesterday by Federal Transport Minister John Anderson, Federal transport funding will be allocated to projects according to their merit, rather than almost entirely on roads as at present. The role of rail and other modes will be acknowledged through a multimodal infrastructure development plan, with special provision for regional projects.

"This is a victory for common sense in transport funding," said PTUA President Les Chandra. "Currently both public transport and rural roads are being starved of funds because all the Federal money is going to urban road projects of dubious merit, such as the $1 billion Scoresby Freeway. Under this plan, we could see Federal funding going to those places where it is most needed: rural rail and roads, and rail links in outer-suburban areas like Rowville that currently have no decent public transport."

Mr Chandra called on the Federal Government to apply the new criteria not only to future projects, but also to present projects not yet started. "Roads like the Scoresby and Merri Creek Freeways are soaking up funding that is urgently needed for public transport and rural roads," Mr Chandra said. "There are less expensive alternatives that are likely to be more effective than new freeways, but have never been fairly evaluated. Here is an opportunity for a fiscally responsible government to curb this blatant waste of public money."

PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 22 May 2002