Public Transport

It is increasingly clear that we need more public transport to reduce air-polluting travel and provide much-needed sustainable jobs.

But state governments are captive to the road industry. The result is poor planning, expanding and expensive road tolls and more carbon pollution.

The following is the Socialist Alliance’s Sustainable Transport policy — an example of what an alternative transport plan could look like.

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“We’re mad as hell and we’re not taking it anymore!” Mary Court, secretary of the Penrith Valley Combined Unions (PVCU) and No M4 Toll, told the Don’t Mess With the West rally on February 16.

“Western Sydney will rise up; we’re not a dumping ground for Sydney’s problems”, Court said. “The ‘toll tax’ on the M4 Motorway is an assault … We are being forced to pay this M4 toll until 2060, increasing at a rate much higher than inflation, to pay for the Coalition state government’s cost blow-outs elsewhere.

The inability of the Liberal Party to find candidates for Hunter seats for the March New South Wales state election suggests that even its party faithful recognise that Gladys Berejiklian’s Coalition government is headed for electoral defeat and, probably, a total wipe-out in the Hunter.

The suburbs along this line are some of the fastest growing in Melbourne. Yet, the state Labor government has refused to invest in the infrastructure required to meet the community’s growing needs.

More than 100 people rallied near Regents Park train station on October 20 to demand the Gladys Berejiklian Coalition government restore the Inner West rail line and maintain the T3 Bankstown line, which it plans to replace with a privatised Metro service.

The WestConnex privatisation “involves arguably the biggest misuse of public funds for corporate gain in Australian history”, Sydney University transport analyst Chris Standen wrote on September 3.

Standen was commenting on the August 31 announcement by the New South Wales Coalition government that it was selling off 51% of the controversial WestConnex tollway complex to a Transurban-led consortium for $9.3 billion.

About 500 people bearing handmade lanterns and banners marched through Sydney on August 11 to protest the state Coalition government's multi-billion dollar transport privatisation and road tollway scams.

Sometimes I wonder if New South Wales transport minister Andrew Constance thinks he is a comedian.

 

A "Fix NSW Transport" lantern walk will be held on August 11, beginning at Town Hall and proceeding through city streets, to highlight community opposition to tollways, especially WestConnex, and the crisis of public transport in the state.

Initial endorsements included activist groups No Westconnex: Public Transport Not Motorways; EcoTransit; Friends of Erskineville; Keep Sydney Beautiful; Rail Tram and Bus Union; Netwown Residents Against WestConnex, National Tertiary Education Union; Restore Inner West Line; and Westconnex Action Group.

 

International and domestic students rallied outside the NSW state Labor Party conference on June 30, calling for an end to the discriminatory policy under which international students are ineligible for student travel concession cards.

Despite having more than 300,000 international students enrolled in universities across the state, NSW is the only state in Australia that does not give international students travel concessions.

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