Malcolm Turnbull must immediately repudiate his predecessor’s absurd refusal to invest in public transport to end two years of inaction on traffic congestion that is plaguing Australian cities.
Mr Turnbull, who often boasts that he uses public transport, can start by reinstating $500 million the former Labor Government allocated for public transport in Perth, which Tony Abbott cancelled upon taking office along with all Commonwealth investment in public transport across the nation.
While public transport is readily available in Mr Turnbull’s inner Sydney electorate, Australians in the outer suburbs of our major cities are desperate for improved rail services so they can get to work quickly and get home in time to spend time with their families.
That is why the former Labor Government committed funding for improved public transport across Australia, including $500 million for light rail in Perth as well as a link from the Perth CBD to the city’s busy airport.
Effective public transport services are not only convenient for commuters but also boost a city’s economic productivity, creating the conditions for growth in new jobs.
Mr Turnbull has stood mute for two years as Tony Abbott ignored the nation’s public transport needs, happy to enjoy the comfort of ministerial leather without standing up for his principles on public transport or other issues like action on climate change or delivery of a fibre to the home national broadband network.
Now that he is Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull should follow Labor’s lead and commit to investing in urban Australia to boost economic productivity and create jobs.