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Article: State Government calls for federal transport cash
« on: July 09, 2008, 11:13:01 AM »
From Herald Sun click here!

State Government calls for federal transport cash

State Government calls for federal transport cash
Article from: Herald Sun

Geraldine Mitchell and Mary Bolling

July 09, 2008 12:00am

THE State Government wants at least $5 billion of federal funding for major transport projects.

Premier John Brumby said yesterday a cut of the $20 billion Building Australia Fund would have a big impact on transport project decisions later this year.

"I hope going forward with the $20 billion put aside by the Rudd Government, we can get our hands, obviously, on the maximum possible share of that," he said.

"If we got, for example, five or six billion dollars out of that, that would make a huge difference."

It comes as Monash University's chair of public transport, Prof Graham Currie, said $10 billion of federal funding was needed to fix public transport in state capitals.

He said Australia was one of only a few Western nations in which national government had no role providing public transport.

Lobby group the Tourism and Transport Forum and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union have said federal funding is vital for the State Government to implement recommendations contained in Sir Rod Eddington's transport report, East-West Needs Assessment.

The RACV's public policy general manager, Brian Negus, agreed, saying the recommendations were beyond the state budget.

Sir Rod recommended an $8. billion Caulfield-Footscray rail tunnel and a $9 billion road tunnel linking the Eastern Freeway with the Tullamarine Freeway as the key projects requiring investment.

Mr Negus said other schemes needed to be in the state plan, such as the continuation of the metropolitan ring road. "I don't know what the Premier is thinking of with $5 billion but I'd put forward the rail tunnel and the Greensborough link as being logical projects for the Federal Government to commit to," he said.

At a national forum in Melbourne yesterday, industry and academic experts called for $10 billion in federal funding for public transport. They want $5 billion spent on infrastructure upgrades, $2.2 billion for tram and train stock and $600 million for 2000 buses.

They also called for commuters to pay GST on public transport fares, with the money put towards a sustainable transport fund.

Fuel excise on public transport, a fringe benefit tax levy on company cars and income from emissions trading offsets could also go to the fund.
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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