The Australian Greens today congratulated the national organisations* behind the Moving Australia 2030 report for providing a strong, clear case for a holistic approach to planning and public transport that puts people and the environment first.
Opinion piece by Jessica Irvine Daily Telegraph today.
"The Greens endorse the measures of the Moving People 2030 Taskforce, which reflect the Greens' long standing commitment to urban planning and sustainable cities," said Greens transport spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.
Ms Rhiannon is speaking alongside Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Opposition transport spokesperson Warren Truss at the report's launch tonight.
"This report is spot on in prioritising public transport, walking and cycling, building High Speed Rail along Australia's East Coast and underlining the need for integrated planning.
"The big risk is that the government will find it hard to end its love affair with the roads' lobby, whose interests have been placed ahead of the public's thirst for public transport.
"The Prime Minister's pledge of $1 billion to the WestConnex project announced last week is evidence that building motorways remains front of mind.
"Building sustainable cities and moving regional Australia is critical to respond to the economic and environmental challenges of climate change, energy security and population growth.
"Australia cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the economic, social and environmental benefits that can come from investing in world class public and active transport.
"The federal government has developed some excellent strategy documents on how to make our cities more sustainable, but have failed prioritise its infrastructure spending to make it happen.
"Labor has outperformed the Howard era, but the lion's share of funding still flows to road transport, far outstripping spending on new public transport services.
"The Greens back the report's call for a new federal government portfolio to drive federal, state and local government projects to make our cities more sustainable.
"Key to achieving an effective new portfolio is ministerial support from leaders like Mr Albanese committed to cultural change within government.
"The Major Cities Unit has set an excellent direction, but Minister Albanese must do more than talk the talk on public transport and liveable cities.
"The federal government must start now to shift the balance towards funding public and active transport," Senator Rhiannon said.
*The Moving Australia 2030 was authored by representatives from the Australian LGA, Australasian Railway Association, Bus Industry Confederation, Cycling Promotion Fund, National Heart Foundation of Australia, International Association of Public Transport Australia and New Zealand, Planning Institute of Australia, and Tourism and Transport Forum.