The other day, local Federal Liberal candidate (and Finance spokesman) Andrew Robb’s minions had left signs at the station, but apparently didn’t have the nerve to actually face people and try and sell their policies… which of course include refusing to fund urban public transport.
Mind you, Robb’s campaigners were out at the station a few weeks ago. And while I’ve also seen the Greens and Rise Up Australia (as well as the PTUA!), I haven’t seen hide nor hair of the Labor candidate, Daniel Guttman — given it’s a strong Liberal seat, he probably has no chance.
Yesterday it became clear that not only will the Coalition not fund public transport if they get into power, they will actually take away already funded money.
Their funding of public transport won’t be zero, it’ll be negative.
They’ll scrap these:
…as well as a heap of money in foreign aid and other things, and instead they’ll fund these:
Why is Tony Abbott’s Coalition so against public transport?
His book Battlelines indicates he genuinely doesn’t believe it can work in Australian cities.
Along with the messed-up internet filter policy, the hobbled NBN, the scrapping of the carbon price, embracing fossil fuels and ignoring renewables, the forthcoming Abbottalypse is looking like giving us the most regressive government in quite some time.
What’s staggering to me is that Labor haven’t managed to articulate this to the electorate. They ramble on about trust (which after their own problems of the last few years, they are not well-endowed with) instead of making the most of the policy divide, which if explained, would show many of Labor’s as largely progressive compared to the Coalition’s mostly backward-looking ideas.
Where are the progressive conservatives?
There are actually sound rational conservative arguments in favour of public transport, particularly around economic development, as well as encouraging competition between modes rather than dominance of roads and their dependence on foreign oil.
What a shame in Australia we don’t have progressive, rational, thinking conservatives like in Europe… well, at least, not in power at the federal level.