Greens announce plan to boost investment in sustainable transport
Hundreds of millions of dollars would be spent on sustainable transport in the inner city under a Greens plan to use the revenue raised from the existing congestion levy on car parking spaces.
Under the plan, the $101 million raised annually from the state government’s congestion levy on car parking spaces in the Cities of Melbourne, Yarra, Port Phillip and Moreland, would be spent on sustainable transport within those councils.
The levy would be used to fund projects that align with council’s integrated transport plans including:
- Cycling infrastructure such as separated bike lanes.
- Pedestrian infrastructure such as shared zones, crossings and streetscape upgrades.
- Public transport infrastructure such as level access tram stops.
Funds would be allocated proportional to the revenue raised in each council.
Currently only $7 million of the revenue raised each year through the congestion levy is spent on sustainable transport in the City of Melbourne. There is no rebate available for the Cities of Yarra, Port Phillip or Moreland.
The total expenditure would be $402 million over the forward estimates and around $1 billion over 10 years.
Quotes from Sam Hibbins, Greens spokesperson for transport:
“Unlocking the congestion levy would be a boon for the liveability of inner city communities”
“Using the levy to invest in sustainable transport would create kilometers of separated bike lanes, upgraded pedestrian infrastructure and tram super stops across inner Melbourne”
“Instead of the state government’s ‘tax and don’t spend’ approach to the congestion levy, the Greens will provide real alternatives to driving in the inner city”
Quotes from Greens local government Councillors:
Moreland City Council - Cr Mark Riley, Deputy Mayor
“Moreland is experiencing increased growth in bike riding, we have some of the highest rates in Australia. However we are constrained by rate capping and other sources of revenue. A fairer distribution of the congestion levy would go a long way to helping us spend on some of the projects in our recently developed Ten Year Bike Infrastructure plan.”
City Of Melbourne - Cr Rohan Leppert
“Inner Melbourne is growing at an astonishing pace, and that means more and more people moving through the same central city streets every year. The only way we can stop the city grinding to a halt is wider footpaths, bigger tram stops and safe cycling lanes. Labor needs to get over its car fetish and release funds for transport infrastructure that will actually move the highest volumes of people, whether by foot, train, tram or bike.”
Yarra City Council - Cr Amanda Stone
“The congestion levy needs to be more than just revenue raising. We need to see it spent on active and public transport to give commuters genuine choice in how they move around Melbourne.”
City of Port Phillip - Cr Tim Baxter“Port Phillip has a plan to increase the amount of people using active and public transport, and funds raised by the State Government within the City of Port Phillip to tackle congestion should be going towards delivering that plan.”