ANNUAL REPORT November 1977


The constitution adopted on 6th October 1975 remains unamended. At the Annual General Meeting of November 1976 the following office-bearers were elected:
Don Morison (Convenor), Michael Conroy (Treasurer), Geoffrey Dawson (Secretary), Sheila Swain (Publicity Officer), Bernie Willingale (Research Officer), Michael Bird, Brian Dunnett, Kevin Eadie, Alison White. All completed a full term.


A Treasurer's Report containing information on finance will be presented at the Annual General Meeting.


Deputations and Discussions: During the year we held discussions with the following people and groups, among others: The Commissioners of the PTC; Mr Allan Viney, State Liberal Spokesman on Transport; Alderman Doug Sutherland, ALP candidate for Lord Mayor of Sydney; Mr Harry Camkin, Director, Traffic Authority of NSW; The NSW Urban Transport Study Group.

Local Government Elections (Sept 77): questionnaires were circulated to candidates in the municipalities of Ashfield, Drummoyne, Leichhardt, Mosman and Willoughby, seeking candidates views on issues such as public transport, speed limits, pedestrian malls, cycleways and freeways. 30% responded and the results were publicised in much of the regional press.

Conference Participation: Mike Conroy presented a paper at the Political Economy Conference in Melbourne. Allan Sorrenson participated on our behalf in a conference at Bathurst on growth centres,

National Public Transport Week: This was held in October. The main events were the Commuter Derby and the NSW Bicycle Institute's :"Ride to work" day. See report in newsletter. Although a great many approaches were made to different groups to participate in National Public Transport Week, the response was generally poor, particularly from the PTC. In the light of this the future orientation and format of National Public Transport Week should be re-examined.

Submissions: We made a submission to the Judicial Inquiry into the Granville Disaster, which was forwarded to the PTC. We sent a delegation to discuss it with the PTC Commissioners, and subsequently made further submissions on the design of the Eastern Suburbs Railway and the Mercedes bus.

In the light of the disclosures made by the Granville Inquiry we submitted to Premier Wran and Transport Minister Cox that there should be a public inquiry into public transport policy-making and administration in New South Wales following from the Granville Inquiry. This request was rejected.

We are now preparing a submission to the Major Airport Needs of Sydney Study.

Haberfield Social Work Project: At our instigation a group of Social Work students from Sydney University conducted a study of the special transport needs of the aged and handicapped in the Haberfield area. Miss Catherine Bowen of the Ella Community Centre supervised the project. While the survey found that a majority of these people were satisfied with their present transport arrangements, it offered a useful guide to possible improvements.


The NSW Government has committed close to the maximum feasible amount to public transport in 1977. However, it has been hesitant to introduce some obvious transport management improvements, and still lacks an overall policy on long term transport needs, particularly in view of declining oil reserves. Its performance is still creditable when compared with the unintelligent and destructive criticism of the opposition. The PTC has recently shown a greater inclination to promote its product than in the past.


The aims and objectives of the Save Public Transport Committee are:

  1. To foster and promote the expansion and improvement of public transport services for the overall benefit of the community.
  2. To promote a rational transport system with regard to efficient use of resources and environmental and social consequences.
  3. To promote public discussion and participation in the provision of transport services.
  4. To support research to further the above aims.
Progress has been slow and steady. We are hampered by the small number of members who take an active part, and the fact that our issue is domestic and perennial, and therefore rather unexciting. Another reason for reduced interest was the election of a State Government more sympathetic to public transport. In view of these difficulties we feel that our performance has been reasonable. We have embarrassed a few Goliaths (PTC and NRMA) and press coverage was good for such a small organisation.

The battle continues. The sympathetic attitude of the State Government should not lead to complacency. The major problem of PTC maladministration has not been tackled. Roads lobby pressure is as hard as ever; possibly they want to have a final fling before the oil shortage hits home. The Federal Government reflects this pressure: it continues to neglect public transport in relation to roads, and has not begun to treat, the energy problem responsibly. There is now a risk that increasing oil prices will simply lead to an ever greater proportion of income being spent on maintaining our present extravagant transport habits, without proper consideration of the public transport alternatives, and our general standard of living will suffer unnecessarily as a result. We must act to avoid this.


Commuter Council: Alderman Sheila Swain of Hunter's Hill Council was appointed to the Commuter Council on our recommendation when it was set up in February, and has reported regularly. The Council is being overwhelmed within minor issues and points of procedure and is not dealing with the broad issues that we think it should. It seems that the PTC is rejecting many of the Council's suggestions out of hand. The legislation to set up the Commuter Council on a permanent basis is expected next year. We hope our members will give thought to how the Council's present difficulties can be overcome.

Bus Map: Some members have produced a map of Sydney's private bus routes. It has been made available to the PTC, who are producing a combined map of all PTC and private bus routes.

Campaign Against Radial Expressways & the Botany Bay Development:

1977 saw the abandonment of several inner city freeways. We wrote to the State Government asking for environmental considerations to be given greater attention in the review of the Eastern Distributor still under way. We joined the Botany Bay activists to write to the Premier criticising the use of public funds for the port development, and we have affiliated with the Botany Bay Co-ordination and Action Committee. We will continue to oppose the proposals for freeways along the Cook's River valley and Johnston's Creek and for a container terminal at Greenacres associated with the port development.

Newsletter and Publicity:

A newsletter was produced at least every second month. We have distributed about 800 of "Getting on the Right Track" (published by National Action for Public Transport). Copies are still available.