Greens Call For Investment in Public Transport

The Greens believe that people have the right to inexpensive, efficient, accessible and safe public transport. Today we called on the Labor and Liberal parties to stop wasting public money on polluting tollways and invest in public transport. 


Ms JENNY LEONG (Newtown) [12.26 p.m.], by leave: I thank the member for Bankstown for moving this important motion. The Greens NSW have a genuine commitment to maintaining and improving public transport infrastructure and services in this State. We believe that people have the right to inexpensive, efficient, accessible and safe public transport and that we should not be put in a situation where services in one area need to be weighed up against better services for people in other areas. That is a false argument that is being put by a Government that is willing to spend billions of dollars on more polluting tollways that will not solve Sydney's congestion challenges.

If Government members are asking for a solution The Greens are happy to offer one. Some of those billions of dollars that are being spent on WestConnex should be put into public transport. I encourage Opposition members also to consider the idea of immediately halting their support for WestConnex so that some of this money is put into public transport. The Greens transport spokesperson—


The ASSISTANT-SPEAKER (Mr Andrew Fraser): Order! The member for Newtown is entitled to be heard in silence.

Mr John Sidoti: Did you catch public transport this morning?

Ms JENNY LEONG: This morning I walked from my electorate of Newtown. Yesterday I caught the train, but today I decided to enjoy the nice Sydney air and so I walked. Greens transport spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi expressed support for the campaign to restore the inner west line. When we are improving and increasing public transport we must not make it more difficult for people to access and use our public transport systems. We must make sure that we do not increase travel times for people, increase interchanges, decrease service frequency or add to congestion at stations. We must look holistically at how to address Sydney's congestion problems—and that is not by spending billions of dollars on new and polluting motorways.

We must address the needs of disadvantaged people travelling on the inner west line and consider constraints in the current rail system that are being addressed through improvements and investment in technology, such as automated signalling. We should not be cutting services and making it harder for our communities. We know that people will use public transport when it is convenient, reliable and affordable. That is why The Greens are united with the community in requesting an investment of public money in public transport.


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