29.07.2020Media Release | An integrated transport plan is essential to keep Melbourne moving

29 July 2020

Committee for Melbourne (the Committee) today released a report titled Transporting Melbourne. The report articulates the need for the Victorian Government to produce an integrated transparent plan, which incorporates transport, land-use, and economic development planning, to deliver an efficient and sustainable integrated transport system.

As Greater Melbourne recovers from the COVID-19 crisis, the need for an integrated transport plan is more relevant than ever. A transparent plan will not only overcome the transport challenges being faced by the city, it would provide certainty for the investment and development activity that is so essential for economic recovery.

“As Melbourne transitions on the road to recovery, investment certainty underpinned by a transport blueprint is as important as it ever was,” said Martine Letts, CEO, Committee for Melbourne.

“Over the past decade, the city’s population explosion has placed Melbourne’s transport system under great pressure. The outward expansion of commercial and low-density residential development to the fringes of metropolitan Melbourne means that approximately 1.4 million Melburnians currently lack access to quality public transport,” said Ms Letts.

“Mobility in Melbourne has reached a tipping point. With the growth pressures the city is facing that continue to build, more than ever a plan is required to accommodate the efficient movement of people and freight. A business-as-usual approach will see road congestion cost Melbourne’s economy up to $10.2 billion per annum by 2031 in operation and pollution costs.”

“The social and economic impact of COVID-19 has not altered the Committee’s view that Melbourne requires an overarching blueprint for growth. Unless there is a comprehensive plan in place, and unless changes are made to the way Melbourne functions, congestion on our transport network will return as the economy opens up again.”

“While no truly comprehensive strategic plan exists, COVID-19 has provided transport authorities and stakeholders with an opportunity to reimagine how Melbourne grows. With mobility restrictions slated to be eased over the coming weeks and months, experts and everyday Melburnians alike are wondering whether now is the time to make significant improvements in the transport network.”

“It is not in anyone’s interest that Melbourne’s transport network returns to the state that it was in prior to the COVID-19 crisis. Peak hour commutes on public transport had become increasingly uncomfortable, while traffic congestion on the road network was worse than any other Australian capital city.”

“Having ruptured the status quo, COVID-19 has provided authorities with an opportunity to test initiatives deemed too difficult prior to the crisis. These include demand management policies like road-user charging, as well as incentives that encourage commuters to utilise various public transport modes during times outside of traditional peak usage.”

“The policies and initiatives to form part of an integrated transport plan must be considered in light of the social and economic ramifications of this crisis. Planners and policy-makers will need to consider possible sustained cultural changes in social behaviour following the crisis, and their implications for the way in which Melbourne functions. These include a desire for more local, connected, and pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods, as well as measures to assist the natural environment.”

The report released today highlights that there is a plethora of initiatives that could form part of a broader strategic plan for Greater Melbourne. Some initiatives that could be considered include:

  • The development of a governance model that encourages strategic decision-making and which ensures a comprehensive plan has targets, timeframes, and accountabilities.
  • The implementation of road-user pricing mechanisms, as well as commuter incentives, which encourage individuals to consider multi-modal transit usage at various times.
  • The introduction of an evidence-based pipeline of key infrastructure projects that are prioritised, and that there are enough skilled professionals to deliver this pipeline of projects.
  • The prioritisation of sustainable land-use which accommodates the needs of individuals and the freight sector.
  • The creation of an urban environment which encourages urban densification, and the uptake of active transport.
  • The ethical collection of accurate transport data, including mobile data, which is shared, and utilised in real time.

“Many of these initiatives can be introduced relatively quickly, and it would be fortuitous to take the opportunity now, to implement changes for our transport future.”

“The Committee calls on the Victorian State Government to develop and publish a comprehensive plan for an integrated transport system for Greater Melbourne, which incorporates transport, land-use, and economic development planning.”

“As our economy recovers and we once again welcome increasing numbers of new residents and visitors, and as we produce and consume more goods and services, we must ask ourselves what it will take to remain a highly liveable, prosperous, and sustainable, twenty-first century city. Designing, publishing, and implementing a strategic plan which considers transport, land-use, and economic development planning is a good place to start,” said Ms Letts.


Laura Kerr Melvin I Committee for Melbourne, Communications & Stakeholder Engagement Manager I M +61 434 107 949 I lmelvin@melbourne.org.au 

Committee for Melbourne (the Committee) works towards shaping a better future for Greater Melbourne. Together with our members, we make a difference by challenging the status quo and encouraging thought leadership to create change through confident and influential advocacy.
With over 150 member organisations drawn from across Greater Melbourne’s major corporations, small and medium businesses, academic institutions, local government and not-for-profit entities, the Committee is an active connector.
The Committee’s work embraces four key pillars: Future Economy, Infrastructure, Urban Optimisation and Liveability. Working with, and on behalf of our members, the Committee aims to ensure Melbourne’s challenges and opportunities are addressed in ways that keep our city vital, inclusive, progressive and sustainable.
As a not-for-profit, member-funded entity, the Committee is politically independent and impartial. This allows us to freely and purposefully raise issues of importance to the growth and development of Greater Melbourne.

Download the report

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