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RTSA calls for urban rail focus in AusLink

<p>State transport ministers should persuade the Federal Government to include urban rail funding in AusLink when they meet at the Australian Transport Council (ATC) tomorrow (May 23), said the Railway Technical Society of Australia.</p> <p>RTSA spokesman Philip Laird said he hoped the ministers would raise issue of urban transport funding when they meet federal transport supremo John Anderson in Melbourne tomorrow.</p> <p>"Over 60% of all Australians live in Australia’s state capital cities, with 25% in the Sydney greater metropolitan area alone," Dr Laird said.</p> <p>Road congestion in those five cities already costs $12bn a year and is projected to blow out to $30bn a year unless public transport improvements are made, he said.</p> <p>&#8226 Meanwhile, Federal opposition transport spokesman Martin Ferguson has called on Mr Anderson to deliver real transport needs at the ATC meeting rather than "pass the buck on its national transport responsibilities".</p> <p>Mr Ferguson said AusLink is in trouble because it sought to blur and shirk responsibility.</p> <p>"The minister (Mr Anderson) has never been committed to the national land transport infrastructure plan and strategy, but only to an ability to pick and choose projects on the basis of politics, not need," he said.</p> <br />