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Albanese air brushes out Labor’s six year public transport failure

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 8 Jan 2014

8 January 2014

Albanese air brushes out Labor’s six year public transport failure

Labor MP Anthony Albanese’s repeated cries that the Coalition is failing public transport is air brushing away the fact that the previous Labor government also prioritised the road industry, Greens transport spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said. 

Mr Albanese’s latest comments are in response to an Infrastructure Australia report that states the “right balance" between car use and public transport is key to tackling issues such as road congestion, travel time and freight movement. 

“Mr Albanese’s correct criticism that the Coalition is failing public transport side steps the fact that when he was the Transport Minister, Labor funded roads at a rate of four to one compared with rail,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“Over six successive budgets Mr Albanese put roads ahead of public transport funding. 

“From 2008-14 the previous Labor government invested $36 billion into transport projects.  $28 billion or 78 per cent of this went to road construction.

“Mr Albanese boasts that Labor doubled the roads budget and initiated the biggest road construction program since the creation of the national network almost forty years ago. 

“Labor earmarked $3.5 billion for coal rail lines and related infrastructure connected with coal export terminals in Newcastle. This is a massive subsidy for the mega-rich mining companies.

“During the six year Labor government funding for cycleways was only 0.77 per cent and passenger rail programs was 13 per cent of the $36 billion transport budget.

“The Greens support funding for good and safe roads to link our communities, but this should not come at the expense of growing investment in public transport. 

“Mr Albanese needs to stop pretending that his transport legacy is different to the Coalition’s current plan. 

“The Greens have consistently called for increased funding for more trams, trains, buses, bikeways and pedestrian facilities as the answer to growing congestion,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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