Adjournment matter: Public Transport

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran)  —  My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Public Transport, and the action I seek is for the minister to put in place a long-term plan to transform our ageing, unreliable public transport network into a reliable, frequent, high-capacity system. I enjoyed debating with the minister at the Melbourne town hall the other day, so what I am about to say probably will not come as much of a surprise, but the reality is at this moment this government does not have a transport plan, and in fact we have not had a transport plan for many years. The absence of such a plan is why we are seeing these mega toll roads like the West Gate tunnel, which is only there for Transurban. We see these pop up and we have at times just piecemeal investment in other forms.

Mr HIBBINS — Overcrowding on public transport is getting worse. I think it is overcrowded even on the Craigieburn line, which I think runs through the member for Essendon's electorate. It is getting worse, and there is no long-term plan to improve it.

Mr Pearson interjected.

The SPEAKER  — Order! I am going to ask the member for Essendon to leave the chamber for the period of half an hour.

Honourable member for Essendon withdrew from chamber.

Mr HIBBINS — Thank you, Speaker. We have put forward our proposal: extend the Melbourne Metro to as many people as possible, which — credit where credit is due — is something that this government has done, a project that was cancelled by the previous Liberal government; include an interchange with South Yarra; extend out to the outer suburbs and Clyde; electrify out to Melton; and upgrade stations along the way at South Kensington, Caulfield and South Yarra. With our population growing we cannot afford to wait another decade — or, heaven forbid, for another Liberal government to put the whole thing on ice again — before we maximise the full potential of the Melbourne Metro.

We have also put forward our position to start planning for Melbourne Metro 2 now.

Mr Watt interjected.

Mr HIBBINS — Member for Burwood, that is actually the Liberals adopting the Greens policy of connecting it to South Yarra. You guys cut it out in 2010. You cut it out, and if you had not, we would not be arguing over it; it would actually be being built right now. We want to start Melbourne Metro 2 now. This is a city-defining project that needs to be built over the next decade to connect those overcrowded lines from South Morang and Werribee. We need more services, new trains and high-capacity signalling for those lines; new stations at Fishermans Bend, essential for that high-growth area, that massive growth area; a new station at Fitzroy; and a connection at Parkville. This is the sustainable alternative to those mega toll roads that Labor and the Liberals are putting forward and that are springing up in the absence of a long-term plan to transform our public transport network. I urge the government to develop that plan.