PT funding fuelled by privatisation bribes to states
The Greens say that while reports of federal investment in public transport would a positive step, the way the Turnbull government appears to be committing the funding is not in the public interest.
“It is disappointing that funding public transport is being made in exchange for the privatisation of vital public assets,” said the Australian Greens spokesperson for transport and infrastructure Senator Janet Rice.
“After years of neglect of our public transport networks, something is better than nothing, but this budget measure would be no different from what Tony Abbott was proposing as Prime Minister.
“As Prime Minister, Tony Abbott insisted that he would only fund public transport through so-called ‘asset recycling’, and Malcolm Turnbull looks like he is doing exactly that.
“A better budget would provide the public transport the community needs without requiring states to sell off public assets.”
The Greens say that funding for public transport appears still to be vastly outweighed by funding for big road and tollway projects.
“From leaks to the media, we have seen that only 15% of this infrastructure funding for NSW is going to commuter public transport. This is failing to address the chronic imbalance between roads and public transport,” said Senator Rice.
“Fixing our congestion woes with more roads is like loosening your belt to cure obesity. The only way to solve Australia’s congestion is to prioritise projects that will encourage people to jump on trains, trams and buses.
“The Greens plan for an Australian Infrastructure Bank announced last week would provide a clear pathway to enable financing of projects without relying on privatisation or more ‘private-public partnerships’ for projects like big polluting toll roads.
“Forcing the states and territories to privatise their money-making assets is definitely not in the public good.”
Media contact: Sam Drummond 0400 352 935