||Issue No. 203||14 November 2003|
Beyond the Workplace
Interview: Union for the Dispossessed
Unions: Joel's Law
National Focus: Spring Carnival
Bad Boss: Fina and Fiends
Industrial: The Price of War
Economics: Who's Got What
History: Containing Discontent
Review: An Honourable Wally
Poetry: The Colours of Discontent
Perils Of Pauline
Put A PM On The Barbie
Tom Holds Water
Developers To Kick Transport Can
The proposal to extend the use of Developer Contributions is one of the recommendations of a report into the future of public transport in NSW prepared by the Labor Council of NSW.
Under the proposal, the government would hit developers for the increased value of land due to rezoning or the provision of improved public transport services.
The report also calls for the Carr Government to implement planning proposals to link all land releases with public transport plans, form the time development commences.
Launching the report, Labor Council secretary John Robertson said the proposals were part of a community vision for public transport that went way beyond the economics of the Parry Inquiry currently under discussion.
The report 'Our Public Transport' commissioned by the Labor Council of NSW and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, draws on more than 100 submissions from community organisations and individuals, warning that NSW is at a crossroads.
"Already, we have seen how a road-dominated transport system in California has led to a system dominated by private motor cars, with high pollution and gridlock being the community costs," Robertson says.
Road and car parking currently takes 40 per cent of Sydney's total land area - some of which could otherwise be dedicated to public space and affordable housing.
The report details proposals to improve public transport including:
- tax breaks for employers who offer public transport fares as part of salary packages
- changing the formula for budgeting road and transport funds, to take better account of overall costs and benefits to the community
- and an action plan for regional NSW that links transport with economic development, including maintaining rural rail services.
"Increased investment in public transport pays off, because it reduces public spending in other areas including road maintenance, care of accident victims, improved health and increased public space," Robertson says
"What this process shows is that by talking to the community, rather than a small group of vested interests, we can develop a sustainable vision for transport over the next 25 years. "
Safety Laws Strip Worker Rights
Meanwhile, rail workers are up in arms about new state legislation that would strip rail workers of their basic civil rights before the Carr Government's new Rail Safety regular.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union says that officers of the regulator will have greater powers than the police in investigating rail safety issues.
These power include the right to enter private property without a warrant and removing the right of people being investigated not to incriminate themselves - with fines of up to $55,000 for people who refuse to answer questions. There are also concerns about the protection of 'whistleblowers' under the new Act
AMWU state secretary says there was no consultation with unions in developing the laws, which were rushed through Parliament last week.
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