Transport and Freight

Victoria's transport system must function on principles of ecological sustainability, equity of access, and public control of critical public transport infrastructure.

Principles

The Australian Greens Victoria believe that:

  1. Victoria's transport system must function on principles of ecological sustainability, equity of access, and public control of critical public transport infrastructure.

  2. Climate change, peak oil, unsustainable population growth and urban sprawl make Victoria's present transport reality unsustainable.

  3. We have an urgent need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and green-house gas emissions from the transport sector must be reduced.

  4. Road traffic is a significant contributor to the emission of greenhouse gases, and has many deleterious effects in urban areas.

  5. Transport, infrastructure and land-use strategic planning must be integrated.

  6. A greater proportion of trips should be made by walking, cycling and public transport rather than by private motor vehicle  to reduce environmental impacts, improve health and reduce road congestion, deaths and injuries.

  7. Safe, convenient and accessible public transport will assist Victorians of all ages, abilities, locations and socio-economic status to live full, active and independent lives.

  8. Public transport funding should be prioritized above road funding.

  9. Public transport agencies (including planning and service providers) must be accountable and their decision-making transparent. Agencies involved in the planning, development and provision of transport in Victoria must be consultative and participatory in their operations, publicly accountable and their decisions transparent.

  10. Local communities and local governments need ongoing, substantive and meaningful opportunities and adequate resources to participate in transport decision-making.

  11. A high quality state and national rail network is essential to a modern economy, and high quality public transport corridors benefit local economies.

  12. The role of rail in moving freight should be significantly increased so as to reduce noise, pollution, traffic congestion and road trauma.

  13. Interstate rail infrastructure must be augmented to allow fast, efficient and low cost freight movements, to and from ports and between state capitals.

  14. Freight transport modes should compete fairly, and equally bear all their direct and indirect costs.

  15. Freight should be transported in a manner that is environmentally responsible, and reduces risk to the public and environment to levels that are as low as reasonably practicable.

Aims

The Australian Greens Victoria will work towards:

Reduced Emissions from Transport

  1. The adoption of a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Victorian transport.

  2. Ensuring all road and rail vehicles meet appropriate standards for emitting air and noise pollution by introducing periodic independent testing of vehicle exhaust emissions and road-worthiness.

    Sustainable Transport Planning

  3. An independent, accountable and transparent body to manage public transport, with a review of the franchise policy prior to the completion of the existing contracts.

  4. Evaluating major transport proposals for social, environmental, economic and other associated benefits and costs against those of alternative transport solutions.

  5. Regular performance evaluation of all transport systems, showing full costs and benefits, including capital, maintenance, social and environmental aspects
    of each and the financial contribution made by users of each mode.

    Maximised Public Transport Use

  6. Public transport that is fully compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act (1992), and is accessible to senior citizens.

  7. Co-location of commercial and community facilities at train stations.

  8. Co-operating with the Federal and NSW governments to establish a high speed train service between Melbourne and Sydney, including establishing a High Speed Rail Authority, fast-tracking inter-governmental agreements and legislation, adopting a plan to secure the rail corridor and undertaking a comprehensive environmental impact statement.

  9. Servicing all urban areas, including regional towns and cities, with reliable and safe public transport that keeps pace with growth in demand, with a span of hours that covers economic and social activity, and a service frequency target of 7 minutes in peak hours, and 15 minutes at other times.

  10. A clear and equitable public transport fare structure that maximises public transport use, and includes single-use tickets.

  11. Appropriate staffing throughout the public transport system to improve passenger safety, support and amenity, ensure correct ticketing and provide assistance across the network at all times.

  12. Giving greater traffic signal priority to road-based public transport.

    Improved Safety and Fuel Efficiency

  13. Elimination of dangerous level crossings in urban areas, and review of all rail crossings in regional and rural areas to ensure all have adequate warning signage or systems.

  14. Evidence-based speed limits on urban, metropolitan and rural roads in Victoria.

  15. Establishing a best-practice fuel-efficiency target for the Government fleet and require all new Victorian government vehicles for personal transport to be either best-available fuel efficiency vehicles, electric vehicles, or hybrids.

    Growth of Cycling as a Transport Option

  16. Accelerating construction of the Principal Bicycle Network.

  17. Increasing clearly signed, designated road space for cyclists, including signalling equity and protected cycleways where demand and risk are high.

  18. Giving cyclists priority over motor vehicles in high concentration zones such as schools.

  19. Laws addressing driver behaviour to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety.

  20. Better integration of cycling with other transport options, including bicycle access to trains and secure bicycle storage at public transport stops and stations.

    Sustainable Freight Transport

  21. Re-establishing a central freight planning body to prioritise and develop rail freight networks and practices.

  22. Using regulation and incentives to shift an increasing proportion of freight from road to rail, in cooperation with neighbouring States.

  23. Significantly increasing the proportion of intra-state and inter-state freight moved by rail by standardising and upgrading the Victorian freight rail network and connecting major logistics sites by rail.

  24. Adopting a Victorian logistics policy for ports and long distance freight movements prioritising rail.

  25. Increasing the volume of stand-alone country rail freight services, including mixed traffic where volumes for either passenger-only or freight-only services are insufficient.

  26. Co-operating with other governments in Australia to ensure the ongoing effectiveness of the national regulatory scheme for heavy vehicle design, operation, safety and driver fatigue management.

  27. Basing state road user charges for freight vehicles on axle load and road damage per kilometre, rather than a fixed registration charge.

  28. Preventing further increases in truck axle loads and the physical size of road freight.

  29. Preventing further coastal port development and channel deepening by focusing on increasing the movement of intra-state and inter-state freight by rail.