During 2005, APT continued its watchdog role over transport issues in
Sydney and to a limited extent, throughout the state. We made a
number of submissions to formal inquiries and maintained
correspondence with transport agencies and providers on a wide range
of subjects. We met regularly with rail, bus, and ferry service
providers, with politicians, and with fellow consumer and lobby
groups. We participated in the creation of an expert panel, dubbed
the Waverton Group, to counter CityRail's ill-founded policy
requiring trains to run more slowly in order for them to be safer.
Despite intensive work by some talented people, the group's proposals
were largely ignored by both CityRail and the transport ministry.
Most of our submissions, and other newsworthy items, may be viewed on
our website at http://www.aptnsw.org.au/.
Once again, the scope of our activities was limited by a shortage of human resources. Even the most trivial advocacy matter sometimes requires hours of work, frequently taking many months to reach conclusion. We commenced an email-based newsletter for members, "The Indicator", but it too suffered from the lack of time available for production.
Successful advocacy frequently depends on public support, usually gained through media exposure of the issues. The Management Committee took care to successfully manage the sometimes fickle media during the year. We commend the Sydney Morning Herald's two-week "Campaign for Sydney" (June) which highlighted the impact of the deteriorating public transport system on the future economic viability of the city.
The Management Committee met weekly during 2005, attended by members whose valuable input is appreciated. Coordination of our activities was generally achieved by email. At the Annual General Meeting on 11 November 2005 the following officers were elected - Convener, Kevin Eadie; Secretary, Jim Donovan; Treasurer, Allan Miles; Management Committee; Eric Tierney, Kim Freeman, Graeme Taylor and Graham Hoskin.
MAJOR EVENTS OF THE YEAR (Notes for future reference)
Transport, general - John Watkins appointed Transport Minister (Jan) - Declining public satisfaction with public transport (Sydney Morning Herald, 13 Feb 2005) -- Resignation of Premier Carr and three of his ministers -- Government's much-delayed Metropolitan Strategy planning document failed to address transport issues. Federally, 2005 ended with an encouraging report on sustainability from Canberra's House of Representatives (Sept). Predictably, nothing has been heard of it since.
Trains - Report on Waterfall accident (Jan) - Slowed CityRail timetable introduced (Sept) - New definition of a "late" train (5 minutes) - Threatened closure of Newcastle branch - New $8B north-west to south-west line promised for 2017 - Tenders called for 35-year PPP contract for new trains, for delivery 2008-2010.
Buses - State Transit bus schedules slowed due to traffic congestion - Bus industry (Unsworth) reforms, skewed to meet industry capability rather than community needs.
Roads - Proposed M4-East motorway deferred, pending review of ports and airport expansion (May) - Controversy over Cross-City road tunnel - Petrol prices rose sharply in June.