Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The climate is right for trains?

Polluting electric train
Many SE Queensland Commuters would have noticed train manufacturer Bombardier's adverts in the mX recently (must be a tender on), with the slogan "The climate is right for trains". Well this seems to be the case everywhere apart from Australia. In the last few days the controversial Climate Tax has been announced. Whilst BrizCommuter isn't going to discuss the pros and cons of having a tax on carbon, it seems that the current plan will discriminate against rail transport despite is being a sustainable, efficient,  and environmentally friendly form of transportation. In the mean time road transport, the most inefficient form of transportation gets away with being exempt (heavy road transport is taxed from 2014). The Australian Railway Association press release (linked below) pretty much says it all.
Now, BrizCommuter just mentioned heavy road transport, which includes buses and coaches. It seems that from 2014, buses and coaches will also have to pay the carbon tax, whilst car drivers again get away with polluting. News articles in the mX in both Melbourne and Brisbane have mentioned that the increased electricity costs could significantly increase train fares. Given Brisbane's excessive 15% per annum fares rises planned for the next few years, this isn't good news for commuters. The Carbon Tax, another reason for Australians to go car!

Update 15/07/2011

It was reported in the Brisbane Times today that Queensland Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk has not ruled out passing the extra costs to public transport from the Carbon Tax onto commuters via increasing fares. This is extremely concerning! The Victorian Liberal Government have also stated that the Carbon Tax may increase electricity prices for public transport by $13m. This could buy Melbourne's train network another train. The Federal Government urgently needs to change this illogically thought out tax by either exempting public transport, or by including the currently exempt car transport. Otherwise public transport commuters may increasingly be forced to go car, adding to congestion, pollution, and road trauma.

1 comment:

  1. That shows how backwards things are in this country. As for the bumper-sticker sentiment "IF ya don't like it, LEAVE!", a lot of us *would* leave if we had the means to!


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