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Greens announce Roads to Rails policy

Greens Senate candidate for South Australia Sarah Hanson-Young has
called for a free public transport trial in Adelaide while announcing
the Greens’ Roads to Rails policy today.

“Our Roads to Rail policy would turn around Australia’s transport
strategy, prioritising funding for mass transit over the short-term and
obsolete mantra of more roads funding,” Ms Hanson-Young said.

“As we see the increasing price of petrol biting Australian families
and the threat of climate change larger than ever, it is time for a new
vision for transport in this country - a vision that is efficient, kind
to the environment and sustainable.

“Both major parties are failing voters with a false sense of hope
for cheaper petrol, which will only get more expense as oil depletion
increases, and more toll-ways. Neither of them has a plan for the
massive public transport and rail infrastructure needed to take our
cities and towns into the next century.

“This bold new initiative proposes a raft of policies to move
Australia to less polluting and oil-reliant alternatives. We are
calling for a fundamental shift in thinking with our transport strategy
that will see greater funding for fast, efficient mass transit and for
rail and shipping freight than for roads and private transport.”

>From 2009-2014, the Greens’ policy would see 25% of the $22.3
billion AusLink2 transport funding allocated to mass transit, lifting
to above 50% beyond 2014.

“Here in Adelaide we desperately need a significant injection of
funding into the public transport system. The upgrade of our rail
system is way overdue and we need to be considering the options of
light rail throughout the suburbs,” said Ms Hanson-Young.

A Galaxy Poll released earlier this year showed that over two-thirds of Australians support a trial of free public transport.

“Instead of voting-grabbing tax cuts, Australians want their
hard-earned tax dollars going into public services and infrastructure.
Let’s see a commitment to the future of efficient, affordable and green
transport in our cities, starting with a free public transport trail
right here in Adelaide.

“If we are serious about tackling climate change we need to
encourage public transport use, starting with providing solid services
and, in the longer term, looking to make trains, buses and trams free.

“We must oil-proof Australia and build a sustainable transport
network that will carry us into the future. While the major parties are
asleep at the wheel on climate change and peak-oil, the Greens are
offering the solutions for action,” concluded Sarah Hanson-Young.

Roads to Rails can be downloaded here.

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