The Greens have congratulated the City of Perth for its far-sighted vision for the city, with its emphasis on light rail, pedestrians and public open space – but they warn that the State Government has so far failed to match actions with rhetoric on light rail.
“I was pleased to hear the WA Planning Minister today say he supported light rail in principle – but I was also extremely puzzled, given so far this Government has been siphoning money away from the expansion of public transport and into roads,” WA Greens Transport Spokesperson, Alison Xamon MLC, said.
“Everyone knows – and studies have proven – that if you build more roads, more cars use them, meaning more congestion and more pollution.
“At the same time, if you improve public transport and pedestrian and bicycle networks, more people will use them too – meaning we reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to significantly healthier lifestyles.
“You also help protect households from the inevitable squeeze when fuel prices go up.
“Let’s see the Government now match these words with some positive steps for public transport,” Ms Xamon continued. “So far, since coming to power, this Government has:
• Made no commitment to extend the rail network beyond Brighton;
• Reneged on the election promise to develop a rail-spur to Ellenbrook;
• Made many cut backs to bus services to the eastern side of the network, including the airport; and
• Funnelled funds from public transport into roads.”
Australian Greens Senator for WA Scott Ludlam, the Party’s Local Government & Sustainable Cities Spokesperson, said in some ways Perth led the nation with rail links and cycle paths, but much more needed to be done to make the city liveable as it continued growing.
“We have got many black spots in terms of public transport in our middle and outer suburbs and it’s those residents who are especially vulnerable to inevitable oil price rises,” Senator Ludlam said.
“Local governments have often set the benchmark for excellent planning when it comes to liveable communities in WA – but we don’t always see the support they need coming from State Government.
“It’s time for the current State Government to get out of its dinosaur road-building mentality and take action to ensure this is a liveable city in the future.”
For more information or media inquiries, please call:
For Senator Ludlam, Eloise Dortch on 0415 507 763; or
Alison Xamon MLC on 08 9275 7474.