MEDIA RELEASE / NEWSLETTER / December 1978 / ISSN 0155-8234
ANNUAL REPORT - A SUMMARY:
1. Members Of the Management Committee during 1978 were:
|Members:||Kevin Eadie, Don Morison, NS, Michael Conroy.
2. Convener's Report:
"Because of the changes that often take place in the political arena
as far as public transport is concerned it is difficult to predict
the areas in which Action for Public Transport will be involved
during the forthcoming year. However, one thing is certain: the needs
of the public transport consumer, often overlooked by governments and
public transport operators; will provide the guiding principle behind
"Particular areas in which APT will be involved during 1979 include
- better information services for public transport consumers,
including the long-running campaign to have a Sydney Area, all-mode
public transport map produced;
- the serious, and deteriorating, country rail passenger
rolling stock situation;
- improvement to Sydney's new buses, including better
ventilation for these vehicles;
- more extensive use of transit lanes and other public
transport priority measures;
- new means of providing low cost off-peak public transport
services such as subsidised taxis, community buses etc.; and
- the completion of all or part of the Sandy Hollow to Maryvale
"Naturally, the degree of involvement which APT achieves in these and
other areas will depend entirely on the availability of resources
such as finance and manpower. Like most voluntary organisations only
a very small proportion of APT's members is actively involved in the
various projects undertaken by the group. Given this situation,
combined with a generally adverse attitude to public transport
development in some sections of the media and of politics, it is
remarkable that APT has been able to stimulate interest and rational
debate on public transport issues. In looking to the future it is
well to remember that many of public transport's opponents, such as
the 'road lobby', are motivated by money; APT's motivation comes from
a genuine concern for an important aspect of the community's daily
3. Activities 1978:
Pursuant to a resolution carried at the 1977 AGM the name of this
organisation changed from Save Public Transport to Action for Public
Transport during 1978.
The following are activities pursued by APT during 1978:
- publication of a bi-monthly newsletter;
- preparation of a Sydney private bus route map, now "lost" in
the NSW transport bureaucracy;
- production of media releases on various specific themes;
- presentation of submissions to various official committees of
- participation in the Earlwood by-election and the State
election (see report October Newsletter);
- attendance at and contribution to various
conferences/seminars on transport;
- attendance at various community festivals; and
- preparation of an anti-freeway leaflet.
4. Activities Present and Future:
- APT is currently preparing a major submission to the National
Transport Policy Committee of the Federal ALP - the ALP intends to
release a comprehensive national transport policy in mid-1979;
- the Secretary is at present reviewing the publication "Urban
Renewal" for the Federal Department of Environment, Housing and
- member Stephen Bathgate has prepared a submission to the
State Inquiry into Road Transport Industry and will appear before
that inquiry during 1979; and
- APT is attempting to get the State Government to honour its
election promise to order new country passenger rolling stock.
APT's financial year ended on 1st October, 1978. During the preceding
- income (mainly membership) totalled $557.72;
- expenditure totalled $516.33 - main items were postage
($196.00) and printing ($122.00) costs;
- bank balance at 1st October, 1978 was $648.20.
6. In Appreciation:
Thanks to all those un-named members who contributed during 1978;
also to those members and staff of the APULE who made publication of
APT's Newsletter possible.
NON-URBAN PUBLIC TRANSPORT.....MORE YEARS OF NEGLECT?
In the October Newsletter we expressed concern at the Government
failure to let contracts for the construction of new country
passenger carriages and railcars, tenders for which closed up to a
year ago. APT has now discovered that these important orders have
been deferred indefinitely because, in the words of the Minister for
Transport, Mr Peter Cox, "there are simply insufficient funds
available at this stage to permit immediate implementation of all the
capital works projects which the Government would like to undertaken."
We make the following comments:
We wish you a merry Christmas !
- Prior to the recent election Mr Wran reaffirmed his
Government's "five-year/$1 billion modernisation plan"; he asserted
that it was ahead of schedule and likely to be completed by the end
of 1981. The abovementioned rolling stock form part of this program,
yet are unlikely to enter service in any significant numbers before
1982 at the earliest.
- Country passenger services have continued to deteriorate to
the extent that once prestige trains, although well patronised, are
decidedly shabby, uncomfortable and unreliable. The midday Newcastle
"Flyer" on Saturday, 9th December was a rail historian's delight,
although the passengers who expected an air conditioned train may
have experienced different emotions. Similarly, important "expresses"
to Canberra and the so-called growth centre of Bathurst/Orange often
lose their air conditioning and buffet facilities without notice to
intending passengers. The night trains to most country centres (the
Mail Trains) defy description eg. the Western Mail of Tuesday, 12th
December, carried nearly 400 passengers in carriages the most modern
of which was 45 years old!
- Following the fare reduction of 1976, country passenger
patronage has continued to rise. New passengers are being introduced
to public transport with high expectations fuelled by PTC
advertising. (Given the obvious deteriorating situation, this
advertising would doubtless attract the ire of the Trade Practices
Commission were the PTC an ordinary corporation!). The Government
should be concerned to enhance, or at least maintain, the image of
public transport by providing modern carriages.
- The deferment of the abovementioned orders has still to be
announced publicly. APT obtained its information from a letter
written from the Minister to a prominent union official who shared
APT's concern at the Government's inaction'. The silence of the
Government over this issue is disturbing.
"OIL & AUSTRALIA'S FUTURE- The economic, social, &
political aspects"-Inst. of Political Science Summer School-
Canberra, 27-29 Jan.79. Further info. from AIPS, 181 Clarence St.,
Phone 29 7340.