Planning and Transport

Well planned infrastructure and transport systems are required to sustainably accommodate and move people and goods across urban and regional Australia. Consultation and collaboration must underpin all planning and transport decisions and implementation with primary emphasis on ecological sustainability and social impacts rather than just economic considerations.


The Australian Greens believe:

1.The design, construction and use of our cities, towns and communities must be based on universal accessibility, social equity and ecological sustainability.

2. Everyone should have access to fast, frequent, reliable, affordable, accessible and safe public transport that easily connects the regions with metropolitan centres, no matter where they live.

3. Australia's transport systems must function on the principles of equity of access, ecological sustainability, and public ownership of critical public transport infrastructure.

4. The climate emergency means our cities, towns and transport systems need to be powered by renewable energy and rapidly moved away from fossil fuels. Managing and adapting to the climate crisis must be at the heart of every planning and transport project decision.

5. A high-quality national freight and passenger rail network is essential to our modern economy and society.

6. Walking and cycling must be an integral part of Australia’s transport systems, to reduce pollution, improve public health, and provide safe and convenient systems of travel.

7. Our communities and infrastructure must be planned and built in the public interest, with transparent, evidence-based, accountable and participatory planning processes which include the communities affected by decisions.

8. Ecosystems and natural communities have an independent right to exist and flourish and this right must be recognised and upheld in planning processes.

9. Planning processes must provide the community with a genuine and equal opportunity to shape future development of their community. The needs and local knowledge of community members, particularly First Nations people, should be considered at all stages of the planning process .

10. Remote, rural and regional planning requires specialist knowledge and focus, prioritising the sustainable and equitable provision of goods and services, and should not be neglected in favour of metro-centric planning. 

11. Ride-sharing and similar transport services must be held to the same standards of worker, consumer and community protection and safety as other transport providers. 

12. New transport technologies should complement rather than substitute for public mass transit systems. 

13. Planning and transport infrastructure decision-making must be safeguarded against corruption and undue influence of special interests. 

14. Public transport workers are key workers who deserve job security and a living wage. 

Aims - Planning

The Australian Greens want: 

1. Planning which applies internationally recognised principles of ecological sustainability to deliver: 

  1. a transition to a net negative greenhouse gas emission economy;
  2. ecologically sustainable urban design, including minimising urban sprawl;
  3. development in mixed-use, compact communities;
  4. communities which are resilient to climate emergency, and address flooding, drought and bushfires;
  5. design that supports and removes barriers to active transport e.g walking and cycling;
  6. socially equitable communities;
  7. the needs of communities ahead of the profits of developers;
  8. principles of universal design that make developments accessible to everyone; and
  9. conservation of biological diversity.

2. Development that is affordable, ecologically sound, water and energy efficient, integrated with public transport, and fosters community interaction.

3.To reduce the need to travel for daily needs, services and opportunities including work, particularly for disadvantaged groups by promoting more compact, mixed use development and sustainable transport options.

4. Improved integration of planning and transport aimed at better use of existing and planned infrastructure.

5. Funding criteria for all federally supported development, transport and infrastructure programs to be underpinned by the principles of ecological sustainability and contribution to a safe climate.

6. A national report card for progress towards ecological sustainability targets in the built environment.

7. Australian building standards to be improved, to address climate change impacts, and environmental and safety issues, and to improve the sustainability of the built environment.

8. National Urban Planning Standards which:

  1. mandate community involvement in decision-making to identify where to locate higher density housing;
  2. promote human scale development that facilitates a sense of community;
  3. promotes mixed use development close to high capacity public transport and/or clustering of medium-density housing, community facilities and small-scale businesses around neighbourhood centres.

9. Spatial planning that harmonises local development and infrastructure solutions that support social equity, walkability, transport, food production, tree cover, biodiversity and habitats, in responding to energy, land and water supply pressures as part of a climate change adaptation strategy.

10. Spatial planning which adopts a risk assessment approach to development in natural disaster-prone areas, and is based on the best scientific and engineering practices.

11. Bushland, wetlands and other habitats and ecosystems to be protected and appropriately managed for conservation, and linked through connected conservation zones.

12. Communities empowered by law to participate in the formulation, planning, decision-making, implementation and monitoring of the planning processes and outcomes, and supported by third party rights of appeal to challenge planning decisions and access to community legal aid funding. This includes ensuring open standing for community groups, and provision for merits and judicial review.

13. Environmental and social impacts and the rights of nature to be identified to enable careful and considered strategy-led planning and informed decisions on approval and conditions of a land use or development proposal.

14. Best practice standards and implementation of measures to improve sustainability of built development, including energy and water efficiency, air quality, safety and accessibility in construction of new infrastructure and buildings and renovation of existing structures, subject to government regulation and inspection.

15. Planning assessments and decisions to take into account the cumulative impact of developments and infrastructure projects, and implement collaborative, regional consultation and assessment where proposed projects have impacts beyond the immediate locality.

16. Future planning of the electricity grid to incorporate the uptake of distributed energy systems.

17. Planning and retrofitting for greater resource collection and recycling spaces.

18. To ensure that planning decisions protect heritage, especially First Nations peoples’ heritage, and end its destruction. Domestic planning laws to include international conservation and heritage conventions to protect the natural and built heritage.

Aims - Transport

The Australian Greens want:

1. Public transport services that are fast, frequent, reliable, affordable, accessible and safe, in order to reduce car dependence and provide equity of access to transport.

2. Transparency and community participation in public transport planning and decisions.

3. Major airports and airport expansions located to minimise social and environmental impacts, and to be connected by public transport services.

4. High-quality walking and cycling infrastructure that is integrated with public transport networks.

5.  Better transport services to, within and between rural, regional and remote areas.

6. Mandatory requirements that transport infrastructure and services to be accessible to disabled people or those with impaired mobility.

7. A national plan for passenger and freight transport which is ecologically, socially and economically sustainable and outlines a transition to net zero carbon transport.

8. To eliminate dangerous level crossings, and ensure the presence of signals on all crossings.

9. A well-funded national strategy to urgently reduce transport emissions, including strong vehicle fuel efficiency and pollution standards and support for electric vehicles and fast charging infrastructure.

10. Greater research into, and development in, net zero carbon fuels and transport technologies.

11. High-quality rail corridors between major cities and regional centres, to support fast and efficient freight and passenger services, including east coast high-speed rail, planned with minimal impact on ecology.

12. Australian ports and coastal shipping to operate in the public interest, and to ensure environmental and social sustainability of our coastal regions.

13. Partnerships between Federal, State and Local Government to plan and deliver sustainable transport initiatives and infrastructure.

14. Clean energy infrastructure which includes a world-class public transport system, high-speed rail connecting interstate capitals and major regional centres, an inter-regional rail and bus network servicing passengers and freight and nationwide coverage of electric vehicle charging facilities.

15. Implement regulation to ensure designated transport corridors remain in public ownership.

16. A strong regulatory regime that protects workers and consumers using ride-sharing and similar services, and addresses any competition issues arising from market concentration.

(Planning and Transport Policy as amended February 2021 Special National Conference.)