The vision calls for transport planning to be reoriented to be more socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. It aims to ensure everyone is able to get around using public transport and that neighbourhoods encourage walking and cycling. At present, many suburbs — particularly in Melbourne’s growth corridors — have poor or non-existent public transport services. These are also the Melbourne suburbs with the highest concentrations of socio-economic disadvantage. ‘The Place to be on PT’ calls for infrastructure investment to extend the public transport network into these areas, and planning processes that avert the development of future suburbs without adequate public transport infrastructure.
Many Victorians are unable to drive a car, or to access any form of public transport, because public transport is too expensive or not available near their home. Many public transport services cannot be accessed by people with disabilities, or is unsafe. ‘The Place to be on PT’ calls for the availability, affordability, accessibility, and safety of public transport to be improved.
The Coalition’s recommendations are generally consistent with the State Government Melbourne 2030 strategy commitments to create suburbs where everyone has opportunities to access employment and services. They include:
- better planning to ensure public transport is available to new subdivisions;
- increase the number of customer service staff to deter crime, vandalism and fare evasion and improve safety;
- improve disability accessibility to pubic transport, particularly before the Commonwealth Games; and
- expansion of train networks.
VicHealth CEO, Dr Rob Moodie, says “Suburbs that rely only on cars are more likely to make people fatter, sicker, lonelier and probably more depressed. Well-connected communities with strong social networks are more likely to benefit from lower crime figures, better health, higher educational achievement and better economic growth. We are what we plan,” he said. However, Victorian Minster for Transport, Peter Bachelor, has been reported as saying that he does not see the link between health and transport policies.
For more information contact Kate Colvin, Victorian Council of Social Services phone 03 9654 5050, or Cathy McNaughton, Environment Victoria, on 0412 119 807