Sep 14, 2016

One year on and no action on traffic congestion

After a year in office Malcolm Turnbull has done nothing to deliver his promises of action to improve life in Australian cities and has ignored the key challenge facing urban Australia – traffic congestion.

During his months of stalking Tony Abbott for the prime ministership in 2015, Mr Turnbull spoke much about his vision for urban Australia and released a stream of selfies taken aboard trains, trams and buses to demonstrate his commitment.

But since taking office, Mr Turnbull has not delivered any new funding for public transport nor produced any cogent urban policy.

His inaction defies an Infrastructure Australia warning earlier this year that without action now, traffic congestion will cost the nation $53 billion a year in lost productivity by 2031.

It is clear that while Mr Turnbull is happy to tweet selfies aboard trains, trams and buses to get his picture in the papers, he is unwilling to actually invest in trains, trams and buses.

Millions of Australians who face increasingly long commuting journeys each day are crying out for action to address congestion.

Mr Turnbull is not listening.

The Prime Minister has also failed to distribute road funding according to need, instead succumbing to crude pork barrelling in the recent election campaign.

Of 78 road projects involving new money that were announced during the campaign, 76 were in marginal electorates held by the Coalition at the time of the election.