A NATIONAL taskforce of eight key transport, planning, local government and health industry bodies has outlined a set of recommendations to government and policy makers for delivering a world-class transport system for Australia by 2030.
The Moving People 2030 Taskforce report, 'Moving Australia 2030: A Transport Plan for a Productive and Active Australia', was last week launched by Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese.
The report says that over the next two decades, Australia's transport system will play a vital role in responding to challenges including significant population growth and concerns regarding climate change, traffic congestion, public health and social inclusiveness.
A number of targets are outlined in the report, including that by 2030, transport, walking and cycling will account for more than 30 per cent of all passenger trips in capital cities and that carbon emissions from the passenger road sector will be 50 cent below 2000 levels.
Other targets for 2030 include that the amount of fuel consumed by the road transport sector will be 30 per cent less than current levels and that a range of mobility and transport modes will be convenient and accessible for all Australians
The report's recommendations include:
- Conducting congestion charging trials in capital and major cities.
- Decongesting cities through innovative and flexible practices such as staggered school house, flexible work hours, fare pricing incentives and increased frequency and span of operating hours for public transport services.
- State Governments to develop connected 'hub and spoke' public transport networks for capital and major cities and regions.
- Ensuring that the majority of infill development occurs around high capacity, high frequency transport corridors. To achieve this, transport plans should be integrated into the objectives and targets of state planning strategies.
- Developing the best practice Transit Oriented Development (TOD) process agreed by Transport and Planning Ministers and COAG.
- Federal, State and Local Government to promote and incentivise building of TOD by streamlining the approval of TODs and developing a best practice manual.
- Developing High Speed Rail along Australia's east coast.
- Developing an Active Travel Strategy which includes walking, cycling and access to public transport.
- Developing a similar scheme to Fringe Benefits Tax for work related public transport trips.
Members of the Moving People 2030 Taskforce are the Australian Local Government Association, the Australian Logistics Council, Australasian Railway Association, Bus Industry Confederation, Cycling Promotion Fund, National Heart Foundation, International Public Transport Association and the Planning Institute of Australia.
"The Taskforce is commending this report to all major political parties to assist in the development of transport policies and programs in the two decades to 2030," said Michael Apps, Executive Director of the Bus Industry Confederation.
"This report provides a vision for an active and productive Australia in 2030 which is focussed on the links between transport, planning, land use and health," said Robert Pearce, Executive Director of the International Association for Public Transport, Australia and New Zealand."
"What makes this Taskforce unique is the breadth of the groups involved and that we have outlined a roadmap for governments, how to fund our policies and identifies how they will improve our communities," said Kirsty Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of the Planning Institute of Australia.
"The Federal Government's own State of the Cities report highlights the challenges Australia faces in the future, but we need more than a report from the Federal Government, we need strong national leadership and an agreed plan to work with state and local governments in delivering a productive and active Australia by 2030.
"Australians are being failed by a lack of governance structures for joining up urban planning, land use management and transport planning and that is why we are calling for the establishment of a Federal Government portfolio to work with COAG, state and local governments to ensure someone is at the helm at a national level," Ms Kelly said.
According to the Heart Foundation, physical inactivity costs Australia $13.8 billion a year, with statistics revealing that if more people were physically active for 30 minutes a day, it could save the Australian health care system $1.5 billion a year.
"Prioritising active transport, rather than cars, will help address the health and obesity crisis we are facing due to the lack of physical activity," said Dr Robert Grenfell, Director of Cardiovascular Health at the Heart Foundation.
Mr Albanese said the Moving Australia 2030 report complemented the Federal Government's National Urban Policy, Our Cities, Our Future, and its measures to raise productivity, ease congestion, reduce carbon emissions and improve the health and well-being of every Australian.
Last year, Mr Albanese released 'Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport', a discussion paper that outlined proposals to reverse the rising costs of urban congestion and encourage more Australians to use active transport.
The Moving People 2030 Taskforce report, 'Moving Australia 2030: A Transport Plan for a Productive and Active Australia', is available from the Bus Industry Confederation website at <http://bic.asn.au/>.