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Greens strongly back transport industry call

Media Release
Christine Milne 19 Aug 2010

The Australian Greens strongly back calls from four transport groups today for a comprehensive inquiry into Australia's transport system focussing on congestion, safety, environmental degradation, climate change and energy security.

The Australasian Railways Association, Bus Industry Confederation, Cycling Promotion Fund and International Association of Public Transport call for a Productivity Commission report is in line with Greens policy to establish an advisory committee reporting to Infrastructure Australia to examine exactly these issues.

"The Greens have long been parliament's strongest advocates for re-thinking Australia's attitude to transport," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

"Our Safe Climate Bill, released last year, included a bill to set up an advisory committee reporting to Infrastructure Australia about the social and environmental costs of our current transport system as well as the best way to put it on a safer, more reliable and more sustainable footing.

"With concerns about climate change growing, oil prices rising, safety not improving and congestion just getting worse, more and more Australians are looking for better alternatives to driving.

"It is a travesty that, for so many Australians, alternatives such as reliable public transport, cycleways or even car-share arrangements are simply not available.

"The Greens have already successfully brought more attention to these issues in the parliament, with some major achievements under our belt.

"We won a $40 million investment in cycleways through the stimulus package, drove a backflip by both the old parties to support a feasibility study into high speed rail and established Australia's first parliamentary inquiry into Australia's oil future.

"It was the Greens who argued for and achieved a requirement for Infrastructure Australia to assess the climate change impacts of all proposed projects.

"The Greens want to see our cities re-designed over time to focus on people, instead of cars, with local hubs linked together by rapid, reliable mass transit and cycleways.

"Our policies for a substantial investment in road safety, a roll-out of light rail in Australia's major cities and re-prioritising AusLink funding from roads to sustainable alternatives have proven very popular around the country.

"We welcome today's call and look forward to working with these groups after the election."

The joint letter is available here: http://www.cyclingpromotion.com.au/content/view/496/9/

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