LETTER: Stop fighting and sort out transport
IT IS with great dismay we read about the latest 'politicking' between the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council over transport funding and social media videos.
It is all our public agencies seem to do these days - produce videos, animations, and dreams about infrastructure while shirking on hard funding.
The Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council are supposed to be fighting congestion.
Not each other.
Without the Queensland Rail network, bus congestion would have blocked Brisbane's CBD and streets decades ago.
A gigantic black hole in council's transport budget would also exist.
We challenge council's claim that it is the only local government that funds public transport.
Although presently some other local governments have not chosen to pay for operations, they have chosen to pay for infrastructure - Gold Coast with Light Rail and Moreton Bay Region with the Redcliffe Peninsula Line for example.
The Sunshine Coast Council has a rate payer Transport Levy which is used to help speed up local public transport improvements and infrastructure.
Let's compare Brisbane City Council's contribution to a comparable organisation.
The ACT Government (Canberra) has local government character and powers.
Comparing Brisbane City Council's operating subsidy for buses versus its Canberra counterpart shows that Canberra spends more, both in absolute terms and on a per-capita basis.
On buses, the ACT Government spends around $395 per person, whereas Brisbane City Council spends around $122 per person.
Canberra is spending three times as much on buses as Brisbane City Council is, per capita.
We provide links to budget statements to back up our claim.
Why is the difference so large?
Because Canberra lacks a rail system.
Canberra's is now building Light Rail.
The Queensland Government has shouldered billions of dollars in infrastructure costs so that Council's inefficient buses can travel on busways, for free.
In contrast, Queensland Rail must pay to maintain its own tracks.
The now obvious collapse of Brisbane's bus network underscores the efficiency of rail and the importance of Queensland Rail to the city.
Rather than petty disagreements played out in the media, can we move forwards with the review of the Brisbane bus network and sorting out Victoria Bridge as a green bridge?
This would be a tangible sign of a real government.
Rail Back on Track