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Members Statement: Transport Infrastructure

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) : I rise to speak in support of a number of councils and communities that are pushing for sustainable transport projects and policies in their areas. We have got the City of Melbourne and its necessary plans to pedestrianise Elizabeth Street and other parts of the CBD, building safe bike lanes along Exhibition Street and across Melbourne. Port Phillip and Glen Eira councils are pushing for safer cycling routes, particularly along St Kilda Road and Inkerman Street. Moreland council are reforming their parking policy to reduce congestion. Stonnington council has got a new bike strategy in the offing, and there are many others. This is all important work, and many local councils are really showing leadership on transport planning by developing their own integrated transport plans for their communities, something that the state government still does not have for the rest of the state. The Minister for Transport Infrastructure was wrong to ask Melbourne to wait until the Metro disruption has finished before pedestrianising Elizabeth Street. Now is the time, when people are looking for different transport options, to implement these projects. The Leader of the Opposition is wrong to say that this is a war on cars. This is about allocating road space to where the need is. In the CBD it is particularly for pedestrians, cyclists and those in transit. Walking and cycling are absolutely essential to a livable city. Sustainable transport gives people more options; it reduces congestion. I would urge the government and the opposition to work with local councils to deliver these projects and not stand in the way.