Today 's announcement by National's leader Warren Truss that a Coalition government would cancel $2 billion allocated for a Sydney rail project reveals that the axe would fall on public transport under an Abbott government, Greens Senator and transport spokesperson Lee Rhiannon commented. (SMH today)
"When the leader of the Nationals is allowed to make a major announcement that effectively would kill off a much needed Sydney rail project it is clear the opposition leader Mr Tony Abbott has given up on transport solutions in his own city," Senator Rhiannon said.
"Coalition plan to take $2 billion of federal money ear-marked for the Parramatta to Epping rail link and spend it on the Pacific Highway.
"This decision represents a major policy failure. Expanding Sydney's rail network should not be sacrificed to making the Pacific Highway safer. Both these projects are needed with the required money allocated.
"The Coalition in deciding to cancel a much needed city rail project are turning their backs on one of the major problems facing their own constituency, the business community.
"Sydney's traffic problems are impacting on productivity.
"Traffic congestion is estimated to cost NSW more than $12 million a day, with the costs expected to rise to $20 billion a year across Australia by 2020.
"Motorways are already eating up the bulk of the transport budget. Today's announcement reveals the situation would be worse under an Abbott government.
"In this era of rising transport costs, the isolation many face and climate change, public transport should receive more attention from transport planners and funding from governments.
"Sydney would be a more liveable city if the money put into motorway expansion was used for new and expanded public transport services," Senator Rhiannon said.