Kathleen Maltzahn, Greens candidate for Richmond

Public Transport Policies and Priorities

Ycat Questions and Candidates Responses – Victorian State Election 2010

Richmond Electorate

Ycat has conducted a survey of the major political party’s to determine the policy and the personal commitment of candidates in the Richmond District, Victorian State Election 2010 to Public Transport Options and the proposed Hoddle Street road development.

Ycat undertook to publish candidate’s responses verbatim on the Ycat Website and to circulate these responses via newsletter.  Ycat has received responses from the Socialist Party, Labor Party and Greens Party and candidate’s responses are posted below.

Kathleen Maltahan

Greens candidate for Richmond.

1. Will you or your party introduce a single Public Transport Authority that can control train, tram and bus timetables, service delivery and investment?

The Public Transport Authority is the centrepiece of the Greens public transport policy position for the November state election. Victoria’s experience of privatising the public transport system has been an expensive failure that has delivered very poor outcomes for commuters, allowed our rail infrastructure to run down and entrenched car dependency for most of Melbourne’s population.

In effect, the franchise system allows government to evade responsibility for running the system and creates perverse profit based incentives to the rail operators that have little to do with quality services. The lack of coordination of services is a key failing of the system that the new PTA would address.

The Greens believe a complete change of organisational culture and governance is required to rebuild the skills required to manage a twenty-first century transit system for a city of 4million+ people.

Our proposal for an independent, powerful and accountable PTA has been developed in consultation with transport experts. The model reflects the experience of successful cities in Australia and overseas and will be efficient, highly skilled and cost-effective.

Once it is established, the PTA will be as powerful as VicRoads in its abilities to deliver services and plan infrastructure but far more accountable to the public through a board which will meet publicly and contain local council representatives. The PTA will also have a commitment to transparent community led consultation in transport planning, improvements and maintenance.

(Please find attached the Greens’ six-point plan for public transport.)

2. What will you or your party do to attain a rapid transit rail link between the city and Doncaster?

The Greens have been advocating for a heavy rail line to Doncaster (also Rowville and Melbourne Airport) for more than ten years. We believe the government’s DART bus project is an admission that there will indeed be sufficient patronage on the new Doncaster line. Buses should be used as feeders into a rapid transit rail link, not as an inefficient alternative to heavy rail, as currently proposed by the government. If elected in November, the Greens will designate a priority task force, the Future Growth Task Force, to commence work on plans for building extensions, including the 40 years overdue Doncaster line.

3. What will you or your party do to achieve a review of the 2008 Transport and Freight Transport Plan?

Under the Greens plan, we will make V-line responsible for rail freight in Victoria which, after a decade of privatisation, has almost completely disappeared.

4. What will you or your party do to make transport planning more transparent, community based and consultative?

The Greens proposal for a new powerful and accountable PTA will make transport planning more transparent, community-based and consultative by establishing a new board which will meet publicly. Councils and community will be consulted extensively in the planning for growth, and the operation of the public transport system. In addition, the Greens would reform the planning system, to enable better integration between transport planning and urban planning.

5. What will you or your party do to reverse the decision to designate Hoddle Street as a Priority Freight Route?

The Greens will reverse the designation of Hoddle St as a priority freight route and, in consultation with Yarra Council and the community, will seek to rebuild Hoddle St as a boulevard, with street trees, improved facilities for walking and cycling and better public transport services, including designated bus and taxi lanes.

In dealing with increased freight, Melbourne requires the reestablishment of an effective rail freight network, which has been dismantled and abandoned by successive Liberal and Labor governments.

Our plans to improve and extend the public transport system would reduce congestion, and the resulting pollution and poor amenity, on Hoddle St.

6. Will you or your party introduce 24 hour dedicated bus/taxi lanes – with traffic light priority for buses and trams along the full length of Hoddle Street & Punt Road to just North of the river.

The Greens support traffic light priority for buses and trams along the full length of Hoddle St and Punt Rd (and in other parts of Melbourne). We support dedicated 24 hour bus/taxi lanes.

Further, as part of the reform of public transport system, we would introduce a bus task force to completely restructure the network to create fast, frequent, direct, efficient routes designed to link with trams and trains. Frequencies and operating hours will be upgraded to match those of the connecting rail services; timetables will be planned in conjunction with the new rail timetables, and in consultation with affected communities and councils.

7. What measures will you or your party support to reduce private cars on Hoddle Street?

As outlined above, the Greens would extend the public transport system including by building the Doncaster Rail Line, reviewing tram and train operations to ensure more frequent and reliable services, and restructuring the bus system to create fast, frequent, direct and efficient routes. In addition, we would invest in bike infrastructure and other measures to increase bike riding. All these measures would reduce private cars on Hoddle st.

It is important that this additional capacity not simply be given over to more commuter traffic.

8. What measures will you or your party support to reduce air pollution in the City of Yarra?

The Greens’ transport policies outlined above will shift commuter and freight traffic to sustainable modes. This will result in substantial improvements to the air quality in Yarra and other parts of Melbourne.

Greens policies on planning and building codes, energy and climate change, agriculture and economic development will also hasten the transition of our society to a post-carbon economy, which will greatly reduce all forms of pollution and improve air quality in builtup areas.

9. How will you or your party stop all proposed major road projects and reinvest the funds in public transport? For clarification, please indicate which road projects you would support and which you will oppose.

The Greens support a moratorium on all new major road projects, and will work towards the transfer of funds from major roads projects to public transport.

The Greens believe that VicRoads should be reformed to make it a more accountable body.

State Greens MPs have and will continue to work closely with Federal Greens MPs to ensure federal funding goes to public transport, rather than major roads and freeways.

Federal MPs have been advocating for public transport funding to go to cities that have a strong and accountable Public tTansport Authority.

In addition, on Monday (8 November), Greens Senators in conjunction with candidate for Richmond, Kathleen Maltzahn, and Greens MLC Greg Barber, will announce new transport polices that would bring sustainability, coherence and long-term planning to state government’s transport priorities.

The Greens’ Federated Transport Plan uses the power of Federal Government funding to enforce better transport planning and implementation at a state level and includes:

  • making long-range city and state-wide strategic transport sustainability plans a condition of transport funding and requiring Infrastructure Australia to set benchmarks and audit the plans;
  • the establishment of a national transport research centre, in conjunction with the states and territories.

10. Please provide website URLs for your party’s Transport policies.

  • The Greens Six Point Plan to Fix Public Transport is at: