Australian Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon has raised concerns that the budget leak revealing a $3.6 billion boost for the Pacific Highway suggests NSW public transport upgrades have again been neglected by the federal Labor government (SMH today).
"The Greens welcome programs that make our roads safer. This can be more effectively achieved by also expanding public rail and bus projects," Senator Rhiannon said.
"Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has had a poor record winning funding for NSW public transport.
"It will be disappointing if Tuesday's budget continues this trend and NSW public transport remains the poor cousin when it comes to the distribution of transport funding.
"Under the current Labor government while an impressive $12.1 billion has been allocated over six years for transport in NSW, rail services receive only a fraction of that amount.
"Rail in NSW has hardly stepped out of the 19th century. When the Minister advocates for straightening and upgrading roads why doesn't he back rail services with the same enthusiasm.
"This week I attended the Rail Tram and Bus Union announcement of their "Better Transport for NSW" plan.
"The RTBU have largely done the Minister's work for him in NSW. I will be urging that the Minister engage with the plan and provide funding," Senator Rhiannon said.