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Senate scrutiny reveals energy mess

The Australian Greens are consulting widely on proposals for including energy efficiency requirements in all school and housing projects to be funded in the stimulus package currently being scrutinised by the Senate.

In hearings this morning, officials from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet revealed that no thought had been given in preparing the package to requiring new housing stock to be energy efficient. Neither was any consideration given to funding cycleways or public transport infrastructure instead of roads.

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Public transport - why was it forgotten in the stimulus package?

What can be done to seize this opportunity to support Australians during this economic crisis?

Including public transport in the stimulus package would assist Australians in real need of an essential service during a time of petrol price volatility and peak oil looming. It would also increase the transit manufacturing sector and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Public transport benefits community health as pollution levels are reduced and individuals' activity is increased.

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Greens grill Conroy on transport

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has questioned Minister Conroy on the government's decision not to include public transport in its $42 billion dollar economic stimulus package.

"The Minister showed a formidable absence of understanding in his response. I asked the Minister why public transport and cycling infrastructure was being neglected, given the multiple benefits of these investments. I also asked what was being done to link new public housing into public transport services and whether the potential to create new Australian jobs in transit manufacturing had been considered."

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Nation Building and Jobs Plan omitts Public transport

Senator LUDLAM (2.13 pm)-My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Senator Conroy. Given the tangible economic and social benefits to people in need offered by public transport and cycling infrastructure and the extremely overburdened or non-existent public transport systems on our city fringes and in our regional towns, can the minister explain why the government's economic stimulus package contains no funding streams or appropriations for public transport?

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Greens welcome money for insulation and schools

New economic direction required

"The Greens welcome the Rudd government's planned investment in education, community and defence housing and energy efficiency programs. Taxpayers' money is much better spent on public services and infrastructure than it is on supporting big banks, big polluters and big developers," Senator Brown said.

"The Greens congratulate the Rudd government on adopting part of the Greens plan to retrofit Australian homes to reduce energy consumption.

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Greens turn up the heat on transport

The Australian Greens say public transport breakdowns in two major cities yesterday underscore the need to upgrade the nation's ageing transport infrastructure.

Trains ground to a halt in Melbourne and trams stopped in Adelaide as infrastructure buckled under blistering temperatures. In Melbourne, the city's rail system was thrown into chaos when a record 150 services were cancelled.

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Newcastle Rail line closure

Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government-

(1) Is the Minister aware: (a) that developers in Newcastle are again campaigning to cut the city's passenger rail service to Newcastle station; 

(b) of reports in the « Newcastle » media indicating that federal government assistance is being sought to do this via urban revitalisation funding through the Government's major cities program; and 

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Government should not waste opportunity to create sustainable cities for the future

The Australian Greens say plans to overhaul the Sydney metro could create a sustainable city for the future, but only if they are underpinned by public transport and affordable housing.

"The plans reported in the media today are an example of what the federal government could achieve through its Infrastructure Australia Fund. However, urban consolidation is only ever effective if there's provision for affordable housing and developments are networked with fast, affordable public transport."

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Federal Funding for Metropolitan Public Transport

Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport
Supplementary Budget Estimates October 2008
Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

Senator LUDLAM-I wonder how much of your work is in metropolitan public transport?

Ms McNally-In terms of quantifying that I would have to take that on notice, but there has been a significant growth under this government.

Senator LUDLAM-Would it be possible perhaps just to break down some funding over the last two or three years?

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