A Shorten Labor Government will work with local governments to increase the availability of parking for motorcycles and scooters in Australian cities as a practical measure in the battle to reduce traffic congestion.
Infrastructure Australia has warned that traffic congestion will cost Australia $53 billion a year in lost productivity by 2031 if we do nothing. Governments need to work together to develop measures that will reduce the number of cars on urban roads.
While Labor will continue to invest in more public transport and better roads, we will also look at practical measures, such as ensuring that people who choose to use a scooter or motorcycle to travel to work can access safe parking.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics found that motorcycle and scooter registration increased by 22.3 per cent between 2010 and 2015 – almost double the 12.1 per cent increase in all vehicle registrations.
Governments need to facilitate a continuation of that trend.
The Melbourne City Council allows motorcycle parking on footpaths in designated areas, while authorities in Brisbane and Adelaide have done well in recent years to increase the number of parking spaces designated for motorcycles.
But we need to do more. If elected on 2 July, I will work with councils and the motorcycling community to identify and remove regulatory and other impediments to motorcycle use.
Across Europe and Asia, millions of people use motorcycles to avoid congestion.
While two-wheeled travel is not for everyone, where people want to ride to work we should do what we can to make it convenient.
Labor’s push to reduce traffic congestion goes to the heart of our commitment to improve the productivity, sustainability and liveability of Australian cities.
While Malcolm Turnbull came to power last September promising action on cities, his activities have been confined to little more than posting pictures of himself riding trains, buses and trams.
He has not proposed a single practical measure to reduce traffic congestion and has retained most of Tony Abbott’s ill-advised cuts to public transport investment.
Only a Shorten Labor Government can be trusted to act on cities, not only by investing directly in more public transport and roads, but also by working with other levels of government to provide leadership on the critical area of urban policy.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.