BIC Media Release
Public transport must be a winner under the carbon tax if we are to reduce transport related carbon emissions, said the peak body for the bus and coach industry in Australia.
“Cars are the biggest greenhouse emitter in the transport sector, producing almost 60 per cent of transport related greenhouse emissions,” said Executive Director of the Bus Industry Confederation (BIC), Michael Apps.
“On top of this traffic congestion costs our economy almost $15 billion a year.”
“Buses and public transport are part of the solution to both and the Carbon Tax announcement on Sunday should recognise this by incentivising public transport use not disadvantaging it,” said Apps.
“The exemption for petrol under the Tax could drive the perverse outcome of making public transport trips more expensive than driving.”
“If the cost of fuel for buses goes up, ticket prices will increase and we could see an absurd situation where public transport users get back in their cars to save money,” said Apps.
A summit at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday, hosted by a diverse range of groups from the transport, health and environmental sectors, including the BIC identified solutions to the issues of carbon emissions, urban congestion, physical inactivity and fuel prices.
Key recommendations from the summit included reforming the road pricing system to include congestion and user pays charging in accordance with the Henry Review of taxation, incentivising public transport use through the tax system and compensating public transport operators for cost increases under the Carbon Tax.
Polling conducted by Auspoll in late June and commissioned by the groups hosting the summit showed 72 per cent of Australians want to see some of the revenue from the Carbon Tax invested in public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure to give them transport choices.
The polling also showed 82 per cent of Australians supported an increase in Federal Government funding for public transport.
“Our polling demonstrated an overwhelming majority of Australians identify compensation under a carbon scheme as not just handouts from the Government, but also investment in measures like public transport that will make their lives better and reduce carbon emissions at the same time,” said Apps.
“This means building a low carbon economy and supporting the growth of clean energy and public transport.”
“This means using revenue collected from a Carbon Tax or any other pricing mechanism for the direct benefit of public transport systems and the community,” said Apps.
Contacts Michael Apps, Executive Director, Bus Industry Confederation, 0418 487 930