As reported in our April 2002 half-yearly report to members, we have again this year continued our major function of representing the interests of users of public transport and other non-car modes in submissions to various government-initiated inquiries. Our major submissions to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal's two fares inquiries were highly commended. Other submissions were prepared for the Waterways Authority's inquiry into the affairs of Sydney Ferries, State Transit's project for improving eastern suburbs bus services, and the Centennial Park access study. Some of our objections to local government development applications involving high-volume car parking provisions were successful.
The government's attitude to transport infrastructure investment has continued its disappointing swing toward major roads at the expense of more environmentally responsible public transport projects. An "M4 East" road tunnel connecting the City West Link to the M4 motorway at Concord and a new road connecting the M2 motorway to the F3 freeway, across Sydney's north-west, are both being seriously considered. Neither appeared in the government's so-called integrated transport plan "Action for Transport 2010" of 1999. The size and cost of the proposed Lane Cove road tunnel has grown from $550m to $850m, and that of the Cross City tunnel from $273m to $640m.
The pro-road propaganda from the Roads & Traffic Authority has become so outrageous that we did not even bother to respond to the environmental impact statement for the Cross City tunnel. We do however commend our colleagues at Eco-Transit Sydney for their success in having the corridor for the F6 freeway, between Tempe and Sutherland, re-designated as a public transport and open space corridor. We were greatly disappointed that both the government and the opposition showed such little interest in the findings of Sydney University's 3-year "Sustainable Transport in Sustainable Cities" project http://www.warren.usyd.edu.au/transport/).
We have continued our monthly meetings with the government transport supply authorities throughout the year and have maintained our contacts with users of privately-owned bus services. We have taken a particular interest in the development of Sydney's first bus "transitway", to be opened between Liverpool and Parramatta in early 2003. We have asked the Waterways Authority to extend its recommended reforms at Sydney Ferries to include the private ferry operators
We successfully lobbied for the deferment of CityRail's new timetable that would have lengthened journey times in order to improve punctuality, and joined community activists in their successful campaign for a re-designed Summer Hill station. We put considerable effort into ensuring that State Transit maintained passenger-friendly features like rear route numbers on buses it was ordering, and are pleased to report that private operators, after many years, are again fitting such equipment to new vehicles. We have had less success with the irritating audio-visual advertising screens on city stations. The number of screens has been reduced from 76 (planned) to 43, and noise levels have been selectively reduced, but the soundtrack still interferes with train information announcements on adjacent platforms. A plan for advertising videos in rail carriages, driven by the advertising industry, has been thwarted, but the prospect of similar threats to passengers' freedom of thought in buses still persists.
This has been another year in which we have not produced a printed newsletter for issue to members and the media. Our last newsletter was dated April 2001. As explained in our half-yearly report, we believe the demise can be more than compensated for by the development of our website (http://www.aptnsw.org.au/), which this year gained its new domain name and a news page. We have restricted the content of the news page to the neutral reporting of events, avoiding APT comment so as not to turn away readers by boring them with our opinions or achievements. Feedback from members on these changes has been minimal. Your comments would be welcomed.
Our internal administration has run smoothly, with weekly meetings that are
open to all members (UTS Broadway, 5.30pm, Fridays), a successful resolution
of our previously expensive Public Liability Insurance liability, and a
comfortable balance sheet. The present administrative workload on our
treasurer is, however, unrelieved, and therefore not only risky, but unfair.
Members with the capacity to manage small administrative tasks are asked to
come forward. On your behalf I would like to thank your 2002 executive,
whose services have always been voluntary, for their efforts this year. More
particularly, I thank their families, for their tolerance of some long hours
spent on your behalf. At the Annual General Meeting on 1 November 2002, the
following officers were elected; Convener - Kevin Eadie; Secretary - Jim
Donovan; Treasurer - Allan Miles; Management Committee - NS, Graeme
Taylor, Graham Hoskin and Kate Read. Members will receive a Financial
Statement attached to this report.
Kevin Eadie, Convener, November 2002.