AUSLINK Green Paper Is a Botched Opportunity
The CEO's of the State and Territory motoring clubs, representing 6.4 million motorists, have today expressed concern that the Federal Governments AUSLINK Green Paper could lead to the Commonwealth walking away from their responsibilities to the road network.
They described the AUSLINK Green Paper as a disappointing document that fails to live up to the promise of the original AUSLINK announcement earlier in the year.
While supporting a more integrated and strategic approach to land transport funding, the clubs say the paper fails to indicate how existing deficiencies in the road network will be met.
The substandard nature of many links in the network, including parts of the National Highway, mean motorists are often travelling on unsafe roads that will continue to deteriorate as traffic volume grows over the next decade.
In the view of the clubs, the Green Paper is based on flawed priorities in that it puts goods before people. One of the major faults is that while the Green Paper has a welcome focus on regional, non-urban areas, it does not acknowledge that urban areas are also regions of economic and social growth, where congestion is going to be a massive problem without more sensible planning and investment.
The AUSLINK Green Paper is a missed opportunity by the Government. There is no question Australia needs to get away from the current ad-hoc and often politically-driven approach to transport funding and develop a more strategic long-term approach that takes into account the needs of all road users, including motorists.
The clubs said they are deeply concerned that the document has too narrow a focus on long-haul freight at the expense of motorists who are the major users of the road network.