Queensland Bus Industry Council
Joint Media Release
Almost three quarters of Australians (72%) want to see revenue from a Carbon Tax, if it is introduced, invested in improving public transport, walking and cycling according to polling conducted by Auspoll and released today.
The poll, of 1500 Australians covering all age and income brackets, was commissioned by a coalition of transport, environment, health and Local Government groups.
The results were released at a Summit held in Canberra today to identify transport based solutions to the issues of climate change, congestion, physical inactivity and population growth in major cities.
“This poll demonstrates an overwhelming majority of Australians identify compensation under a carbon scheme as not just handouts from the Government, but also investment in measures like public transport that will make their lives better and reduce carbon emissions at the same time,” said Bus Industry Confederation Executive Director Michael Apps.
“The money raised through the carbon price should primarily be spent on solutions, not on compensating industries that are part of the problem,” said Australian Conservation Foundation CEO Don Henry.
“That means building a low carbon economy and supporting the growth of clean energy and public transport.”
82 per cent of respondents to the poll supported an increase in Federal Government funding for public transport and 87 per cent of respondents supported Federal Government investment in public transport to address the issue of traffic congestion in major cities.
“Congestion costs the Australian economy almost $15 billion annually and Australians are telling us this that traffic congestion is more than a dollar figure; it is a problem that hurts everyone who lives in our cities by lowering their quality of life and affecting them financially,” said Professor John Stanley of the Institute of Transport and Logistics at the University of Sydney.
“This poll indicates very strongly that Australians identify public transport as a solution to congestion and they want the Federal Government to invest in making it more accessible and convenient for them to use.”
“The poll results reflect the fact our cities and urban communities require transformational change in the way we live, travel and consume if we are to have a quality of life that comes even close to what we are experiencing today, tinkering at the edges will not even maintain the status quo,” said Executive Director of the International Public Transport Association, Peter Moore.
“Our major cities are choking on congestion and social isolation through lack of access to services is becoming all too evident.”
“We are devoting a proportion of disposable income to travel that is impacting too heavily on the amenity of our lives,” said Moore.
Mayor Felicity – Ann Lewis, Deputy President of the Australian Local Government Association and the representative of Local Governments at the Summit welcomed engagement with the coalition on the issue of transport provision in urban areas.
“Local Government as the provider of the most extensive urban transport infrastructure is ready to work with industry and the other levels of government to address congestion and the emerging transport issues.”
Respondents who did not use public transport for work trips identified the coverage, capacity and efficiency of public transport as the major obstacles to using it, 70 per cent of all respondents supported the Federal Government becoming more involved in the planning of public transport in cities to address congestion.
“In the major cities such as Melbourne and Brisbane, we have seen significant growth in public transport patronage on our bus and rail networks. In regional areas, we have also seen considerable growth, last year patronage for non-urban rail services grew by almost 15 per cent,” said Australasian Railway Association, CEO Bryan Nye.
“In cities with lower levels of patronage growth like Sydney, we are already operating at capacity, particularly during peaks. Unlocking capacity constraints in our systems will help place public transport as a key solution to road congestion, reducing carbon emissions, and our dependence on imported oils.”
“The Federal Government must take the lead role in capacity building and planning for public transport across Australia. It needs to increase infrastructure funding and assisting State Governments to deliver more services where they are needed,” said Nye.
“While cardiovascular disease kills an Australian every 11 minutes, physical inactivity is a major health problem in its own right, said Dr Lyn Roberts, National CEO Heart Foundation.
“More than half of Australian adults (54%) are not sufficiently physically active to gain health benefits. Physical inactivity kills 16000 Australians a year and costs our health budget $1.5 billion annually.
“This poll tells us Australians want to be more active, use public transport that is frequent, reliable and accessible and they want the infrastructure in place to encourage walking and cycling. Increased investment will encourage public transport patronage in our cities and unblock two kinds of arteries - ours and traffic,” said Dr Roberts.
“The poll identified that 85% of Australians want the Federal Government to spend money on better planning to make walking and cycling for transport simple and convenient options,” said Government Relations Manager for the Cycling Promotion Fund Stephen Hodge.
“Better planning will provide a more efficient transport network for all users.”’
The poll was initiated by a Coalition of seven key bodies; the Australasian Railway Association, Australian Conservation Foundation, Australian Local Government Association, Bus Industry Confederation, Cycling Promotion Fund, Heart Foundation, and International Public Transport Association.
To organise interviews and photo opportunities with any speakers in the release, please call:
Emma Woods, 0438 209 588
Isuru Neelagama, 0451 005 661
Monique Blunden, 0414 789 849
The full polling report from Auspoll is available on request by calling Isuru Neelagama on 0451 005 661. A backgrounder for journalists including maps of seats where voters are most affected by increases in fuel prices is available by calling Isuru Neelagama on 0451 005 661.
BIC Media Release
More than a third of Australians would be more likely to vote for a party with policies to address traffic congestion at the next Federal Election, according to polling conducted by Auspoll and released today.
“The polling shows voters want to see policies which address transport and living costs and this will play a role in deciding the voting preference of a significant number of them at the next federal election,” said Michael Apps, Executive Director of the Bus Industry Confederation.
Apps said an electoral analyses conducted by the BIC using data and maps developed by Griffith University clearly demonstrated that parties who could provide solutions to congestion would receive an electoral boost.
“Our analysis for every capital city showed 33 Federal seats held by a 6% or less and nine seats that changed hands at the 2010 Federal Election are in areas where increasing fuel prices threaten the ability of homeowners to meet their mortgage repayments.
“We are yet to see a fuel price and transport concerns identified as election issues at a federal level, though public transport played a significant part in the Victorian and NSW state elections, but with fuel prices expected to continue rising the next Federal Election might be decided by who has the best policies to reduce congestion and reliance on cars.” said Apps.
Graham Currie, Professor of Public Transport at Monash University said his research demonstrated a strong connection between rising fuel prices and demand for public transport.
“Transport costs and the impact they have on household budgets tend to be felt hardest in areas of our cities and on the fringe of our major cities where public transport services are less available.”
“There needs to be a coordinated planning and investment approach to this problem lead by the Government through its National Urban Policy and agreed on by all Federal parties to ensure good outcomes are achieved regardless of who is in Government,” said Currie.
Michael Apps, Executive Director, Bus Industry Confederation, 0418 487 930
Professor Graham Currie, Monash University, 0414 852 699
The full polling report from Auspoll is available on request by calling Isuru Neelagama on 0451 005 661. An FAQ for journalists including maps of seats where voters are most affected by increases in fuel prices is available by calling Isuru Neelagama on 0451 005 661.
The Queensland Bus Industry Council will be visiting Gympie on Saturday the 23rd of July to meet with local Bus and Coach Operators.
The purpose of the visit is to discuss critical issues confronting our Industry, said QBIC Executive Director David Tape.
Our Industry is facing the biggest challenge since the introduction of contracted passenger services in Queensland and we must be prepared, says Tape.
The Bligh Government will be engaging with QBIC in the coming months as part of the Bus Contract Reform Project. This Next Generation process will encompass all Government contracts relating to passenger services, including School transport said Tape.
The door is open for Industry to finally negotiate contracts that are transparent, sustainable and provide a genuine spend of the public purse. This should be a win win for all parties, an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss, Tape said.
Tape stated that this is not sector or member specific, it will involve all of Industry and I invite all Bus and Coach Operators to attend, Members and Non Members.
Further details are available on our website at www.qbic.com.au or by contacting our office on 07 3397 1700.
Media contact: David Tape (07) 3397 1700 or 0407 002 970.
The recent State Budget release and comments by the Minister for Transport, Annastacia Palaszczuk, are of concern to the Queensland Bus Industry Council (QBIC). I struggle with some of the comments made by the Minister in her announcement, says QBIC Executive Director David Tape.
“This budget is about connecting our communities by giving them public transport options to suit their lifestyle.”
“The State Government is committed to improving public transport and this funding will help bolster services, ease congestion, help to tackle climate change and deal with our growing population.”
“We’re getting on with the job of delivering sustainable transport solutions for future generations.”
The Minister talks of connecting communities, giving public transport options, improving public transport, bolstering services, easing congestion, tackling climate change and delivering sustainable transport solutions.
I see a massive investment in rail and bus infrastructure, I do not see any detail of future growth for bus services, increasing the number of buses on the road, providing additional bus feeder services to support rail.
Without investment in the future growth of bus services how can the Bligh Government:
(provide)“...public transport options to suit lifestyle...”
Where is the frequency, where is the connectivity to other transport modes?“
Are we just talking rail? If so, why? How does the public travel to, and take advantage of these bolstered services?
Without balanced investment in all transport modes providing frequency, connectivity and continuation of travel, where is the incentive for people to get out of their cars and onto public transport?
“...tackle climate change…”
Again without balanced investment in all transport modes providing frequency, connectivity and continuation of travel, where is the incentive for people to get out of their cars and onto public transport, reducing the amount of cars on our roads and reducing exhaust emissions?
“...delivering sustainable transport…”
Our public transport system is multi modal, without balanced investment, how can each mode support and compliment the other? How can this be sustainable?
Increased investment in bus infrastructure is welcomed, but the lack of detail or evidence of investment for the future growth of bus services is disappointing. I invite the Minister to alleviate my fears by communicating the Governments plan and commitment regarding the future growth of bus services, not only in SEQ, but also in regional Queensland.
Media contact: David Tape (Executive Director) Queensland Bus Industry Council Inc (07) 3397 1700 or 0407 002 970.
Queensland can look forward to a more reliable, frequent and sustainable transport system following the launch of a blueprint by the Queensland Bus Industry Council (QBIC) to improve infrastructure, ease traffic congestion and change attitudes toward bus travel.
The QBIC Action Plan is the first of its kind in Queensland and calls for a strategic partnership between the industry, Government and community.
QBIC Executive Director David Tape said the plan had already been presented to the Minister for Transport Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk spoke at the recent QBIC annual conference in Townsville and acknowledged the importance and value of a strategic plan for Queensland’s bus industry,” Mr Tape said.
“Queensland’s population explosion has created challenges in meeting growing demand for services and infrastructure.
“As the voice of the State’s bus industry QBIC wanted to take affirmative action to address these issues. “We have worked closely with key stakeholders to develop a solutions driven strategy to build a safer, greener and more efficient bus transport system for Queensland.
“The plan has been formulated to tackle issues such as traffic congestion, climate change, accessibility and social responsibility head on, and we are committed to investing the necessary time and funds to realise its objectives.
“If we want more people to choose to travel by public transport we need to ensure services are clean, reliable, frequent and easily accessible.
“That means ensuring bus stops are located a short stroll from residential estates and offices and rail systems are well linked with buses. Keeping the buses clean and running on schedule will also be key.
“Until this happens many Queenslanders will choose to drive rather than jump onboard our buses and we will continue to struggle with issues such as traffic congestion and high levels of CO2 emissions from private vehicles.
“QBIC looks forward to working closely with all stakeholders to promote and enhance a sustainable public transport system delivering safe, effective and efficient services."
QBIC represents bus and coach operators in Queensland, ensuring its members are kept abreast of the latest industry developments and facilitating training services.
The Action Plan can be downloaded from the QBIC website www.qbic.com.au or by contacting the QBIC Office on 07 3397 1700.
Media contact: Fiona Evans at Sequel Communications - 07 3251 8122 or 0403 090 911