NEWSLETTER August 1977


Every Tuesday

- S.P.T. informal meeting, 5.30 pm - Bistro Lounge, Great Southern Hotel, George St opposite Eddy Avenue.

Mon, Aug 1

- S.P.T. monthly general meeting, 5.30 pm - Environment Centre, 399 Pitt Street

Tue, Aug 2

- "Sydney Freeway Corridors - Retention or Release" - Address by R.B. Bunton, Director, Urban Transport Study Group of New South Wales to Transportation Branch of Institution of Engineers, Australia. Mr. Bunton will indicate approach used by the UTSG in reviewing freeway reservation requirements, which incorporates considerations of social and environment impacts 6pm, Auditorium, Ground Floor, 118 Alfred St, Milson's Point.

Wed, Aug 3

- AGM, Bicycle Institute of NSW, including election of officers. Please tell your cycling friends. 7.30pm, 399 Pitt Street.

Tue Aug 9

- We discuss Sydney's transport with the traffic authority of NSW, which is currently doing a survey of bicycle use in Sydney.


- "Transport and Energy", Aust. Institute of Urban Studies.


NATIONAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT WEEK - We now have plenty of ideas but we're short of staff - Members please come forward.


Major Airport Needs of Sydney - Display and enquiry centre, (8.30am-5.00pm, 59 Goulburn St (between George and Pitt) Mon-Fri)


Members of the Save Public Transport management committee recently met Mr. Allan Viney, State Liberal spokesman on transport, at his suggestion. Mr. Viney is the member for Wakehurst, covering Sydney's central northern beaches. He indicated that the NSW Opposition is working on a major plan for reforming the administration and financing of public transport, but he gave the impression that the Opposition intends to keep its plans to itself and then spring them on Government and public when the date of the next election is announced.

Mr. Viney was expansive on a number of topics. In particular he strongly supported zone fares, greater bus priority and the introduction of cycleways. He expressed support for some urban freeways, the Botany Bay development, and the wide application of the "user pays" principle to public transport. We agreed to further exchanges of ideas with Mr. Viney in the future.


The Objectives Meeting: the meeting of groups with an interest in a more rational transport system proposed in the last newsletter will be held in the first week of August at a time and place to be arranged. The June general meeting supported the aims proposed in the last newsletter, amending them to include the examination of major urban growth developments, port developments and decentralisation projects in the light of public transport alternatives, and increased emphasis on waterways for freight movements. These aims, together with proposed specific stratagems for achieving them, have been circulated to the groups concerned.


It has been decided not to go ahead with the National Meeting in Melbourne, to avoid a clash with a regional meeting in South Australia. Proposals for national policy will now be circulated to groups throughout Australia. We hope to have the proposals before us at the general meeting of 1st August.


The Major Airport Needs of Sydney (MANS) study team has invited SPT representatives to a meeting and has sent us information about the study. The study team is inviting public input on four broad options for satisfying the future airport needs of Sydney:

  1. Doing nothing;
  2. Rearranging operations at existing airports without major development;
  3. Major expansion of Kingsford-Smith runway facilities to allow increased traffic;
  4. Building a second airport on the outskirts of Sydney.
There is a public display in connection with the study on the ground floor of the Sydney Plaza building, Goulburn St city (between Pitt and George Sts).

We have discussed the MANS study at recent meetings and there has been criticism of the four option approach to the problem and the amount of information supplied about some of the options. We have set up a subcommittee to prepare a submission. The subcommittee is working on the basis that we should ask the study team to recommend deferring any major expenditure on airports while an overall long-distance transport policy is evolved. We agreed that such a policy should be aimed at inducing a shift away from air travel to other modes by such means as introducing high speed rail services, and that in the meantime air traffic problems should be dealt with along the lines of study Option 2. The MANS study will be discussed further at the general meeting of 1st August.


The six month trial period of smoke-free air on Sydney's public transport is about to end. To ensure continued healthy air, readers are urged to write to the ministers for both transport and health, the Commuter Council (Box 29, GPO) or the media.


Our private bus operators route map has reached draft form and will be discussed by the Bus Proprietors' Association and the PTC on 28th July, with a view to producing a single map of all public transport services in Sydney. We believe the map should also contain information for cyclists, as does its Melbourne equivalent. The next edition of the UBD Sydney street directory is expected to show bus routes. Congrats to UBD.


There can be no doubt that to successfully use Sydney's public transport system, one needs a bagful of tricks, legal and otherwise, which can only be obtained from bitter experience. We want yours - for possible future publication.


In the controversy over road maintenance "charges" (they would be unconstitutional if they were "taxes") it should be recognised that it would be in the community interest, for the sake of oil conservation, environmental and road safety reasons, if less freight was moved by road and more by other modes. In his talk with us State Liberal transport spokesman Allan Viney supported Leon Punch's promise that a coalition government would drop the charges. He made some convincing criticisms of the present system of levying the charges.

To abandon the charges would improve the truck operators' position in competition with the railways and would force the burden of road maintenance more heavily onto taxpayers in general. (One legally laden lorry can cause as much road wear as 20,000 small sedans.) It appears more desirable that the system of levying should be reformed - a tax on the diesel fuel used by the trucks would be a possibility. This problem once again demonstrates the urgent need for co-ordinated policies on total transport and energy requirements.


Andrew Herrington (chief conspirator behind "Getting on the Right Track" and currently fighting freeways in Melbourne) has raised the idea of a new national journal with material on public transport from all states, to be produced about six times a year. We propose that this journal would be issued free to members in lieu of our present newsletter. Your ideas on the content and title of the proposed journal would be appreciated.


The State Government expects to make an announcement shortly on the Johnstons's Ck Expressway and the Kyeemagh-Chullora County Road. However Transport Minister Cox says that it will be at least a few months before Cabinet decides on the future of the Eastern and North-Western Expressways.


Premier Wran has expressed enthusiasm for state built coal to oil conversion plants as part of his policy to attract industry to NSW. "Petroleum Gazette" (July 76) estimates that for Australia to achieve self-sufficiency in petroleum within twenty years would require investment of $10-20,000,000,000 (ie ten to twenty thousand million) in conversion plants. This does not include the cost of finding and developing new coal fields and their support infrastructure which would be needed to treble Australia's coal output in order to supply the conversion plants. Perhaps this is why Shell and other energy corporations (previously known as oil companies) have recently bought large interests in coal mining companies.

Since the conversion process is very inefficient, it might be a good idea to use the coal directly to generate electricity, thus reducing the demand for coal (itself a limited resource), the pollution problem, and the cost.