A recent trip to Queensland took me along some of the major freeways in that state’s capital and over the Gateway Bridge crossing the Brisbane River illustrating, beyond doubt, that policy there is about doing more for road users. A whole new Gateway Bridge, next to the original built in the 1980s, is an integral part of massive road works stretching over about 15 kilometres costing millions (the original bridge cost $140 million). Queensland has created a worthy public transport system, but if just a fraction of what is being spent on roads was applied to moving the public then Brisbane people, in particular, would have a transit system among the best in the world.
Melbourne has challenged the mindset that has dominated lifestyles, and so housing, in Australia for decades and is looking to halt the sprawl that is eroding the city’s liveability status. We need to import some of those refreshing thoughts to Shepparton and do what we can to lessen sprawl here that is leading people to live further from city centre and so depend even more heavily on cars to move about.
Transport, primarily road transport, is probably the most obvious causality of Peak Oil, but it really just a fragment of the paradigm change facing us as oil becomes rare and by implication more costly. What is happening in Brisbane is being repeated with unthinking enthusiasm throughout Australia and, although Shepparton is some way down the same path, we are in a position to arrest the situation and plan for a rather more dense way of living.
While considering how to live in a less expansive way, it is important work at improving our public transport system and, along with that, we need to better understand Peak Oil.