Senate debates

Tuesday, 19 April 2016


Public Transport

6:44 pm

Photo of Janet RiceJanet Rice (Victoria, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Turnbull Government is yet to commit funding to any major public transport projects in our urban centres,

(ii) the recent audit of East West Link federal funding showed significant flaws in the Liberal Government's approvals and funding decisions for that proposed project, and that there are strikingly similar features of the funding decisions for WestConnex and Perth Freight Link toll roads,

(iii) communities in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne are standing up and saying they do not want more polluting toll roads pushed through their urban neighbourhoods, and

(iv) investment in well designed public transport infrastructure is a more effective, economic, equitable and less polluting means of tackling congestion than new toll road projects; and

(b) calls on the Government to withdraw funding for WestConnex and the Perth Freight Link, and prioritise funding for public transport in our major urban centres before polluting toll roads that further embed car dependence in our cities.

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (Victoria, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr President, I seek leave to make a short statement.

Photo of Stephen ParryStephen Parry (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Leave is granted for one minute.

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (Victoria, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the chamber. The government is taking a mode-neutral approach when assessing the optimum transport solutions to address identified network deficiencies. The Asset Recycling Initiative has committed up to $1.6 billion towards urban rail projects in New South Wales, including Sydney Metro and a second harbour crossing. In the ACT, we are contributing $60 million towards the light-rail project. The Australian government has also recently committed $95 million towards Gold Coast light rail stage 2 and, in November 2015, announced a $2 million rail option scoping study that will examine Western Sydney's rail transport needs, including serving the proposed Western Sydney airport and the Western Sydney priority growth and land release areas. In addition, we have announced $10 million to further a study into the Melbourne Metro project. The Australian government is committed to delivering the much-needed Perth Freight Link and WestConnex projects and stands ready to fund the East West Link, should a Victorian government choose to build it.

Photo of Stephen ParryStephen Parry (President) Share this | | Hansard source

The question is that the motion moved by Senator Rice be agreed to.