CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
ANDREW GILES MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIES AND URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE
MEMBER FOR SCULLIN
According the latest report from Infrastructure Australia on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australians risk a future stuck in traffic unless the Morrison Government acts to cut congestion in our cities and suburbs.
The report highlights that car dependency has increased while patronage on public transport has declined in our cities and suburbs, warning that to avoid further congestion problems on our roads "safe and trusted alternatives to driving need to be provided and encouraged".
Instead of delivering however, the Morrison Government has been missing in action by failing to invest in vital congestion-busting infrastructure.
Just one program, the Government's signature Urban Congestion Fund, underspent by $572 million last year alone, with only $148 million of the promised $720 million getting out the door.
Of $207m promised through the UCF for projects in NSW, they spent only $4.5m.
The Morrison Government has also missed opportunities to make our cities more resilient to future crises - especially through City Deals - a program that has become a pale imitation of the original UK model.
Australia needs a vision for our cities to that improves their productivity, sustainability and liveability, while ensuring they are places of opportunity for everyone.
Labor believes that the best approach to cities policy is to work in partnership with local government and state governments, as well as with business and community to kickstart growth and enhance liveability.