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Urban public transport: monument to a dying government

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flL'ggEg' η J j. A U STRA LIA . A - DAVID HAWKER : Federal Member for Wannon Shadow Minister for Land Transport

M e d i a R e l e a s e

Urban Public Transport: Monument to a Dying Government

Urban renewal is good - but not when it involves millions of dollars of taxpayers' money thrown into an antiquated public transport system.

Unfortunately, that is what Labor's "Better Cities" seems to be about.

$72.5 million is to be poured into the public transport systems of our major cities. Public transport systems that have proved to be inefficient, wasteful and expensive.

No care has been taken to ensure that the millions are invested wisely. No care has been taken to ensure that the services will be any better than the current services in most cities (which are less than adequate). No care has been taken to ensure that the new services do not become captive to the same destructive forces as the existing services.

There is no denying that people in outer suburbs need better access to transport. That transport should be the least expensive and least polluting as possible, while at the same time providing a service that is flexible and reliable.

The public transport systems presently in our cities do not meet these criteria. And they never will while they continue to be hamstrung by outdated work practices, poor management and political interference.

Governments should contract with the private sector to provide a service that does meet these criteria - be it the use of conventional vehicles, electric vehicles, light rail or heavy rail - whichever (or whatever combination) is the most economical and least polluting.

By contracting the private sector to do the job, the governments of each state and the federal government will have to make the cost of providing the services explicit. That way we can all see what it costs and make up our own minds as to whether we think it is worth it or not.

ends 21 August 1991

Contact: David Hawker (06) 277 4231

Janice Wykes (06) 277 4231 or (06) 288 3946

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