Planning and Transport

Pollution, climate change and decades of neglect mean major upgrades are urgently required to our transport infrastructure.


The Australian Greens believe that:

  1. The design, construction and use of our cities, towns and communities must be socially equitable and ecologically sustainable.
  2. Australians should have the choice to travel by fast, frequent, reliable, affordable, accessible and safe public transport.
  3. Australia's transport systems must function on the principles of equity of access, ecological sustainability, and public ownership of critical public transport infrastructure.
  4. Climate change and oil depletion requires our cities, towns and transport systems to be powered by renewable energy and transition away from fossil fuels.
  5. A high-quality national freight and passenger rail network is essential to our modern economy and society.
  6. Walking and cycling must be an integral part of Australia’s transport systems, to reduce pollution and improve public health.
  7. Our communities and infrastructure must be planned and built in the public interest, with transparent, evidence-based, accountable and participatory planning processes.
  8. Ecosystems and natural communities have an independent right to exist and flourish and this right must be recognised and upheld in planning processes.
  9. Rural and regional planning requires specialist knowledge and focus and should not be neglected in favour of metro-centric planning or short-term planning based on transitory industries.

Aims — Planning

The Australian Greens want:

  1. Planning that is based on:
    1. a transition to a zero carbon economy;
    2. sustainable urban design principles including minimising urban sprawl;
    3. promoting development in mixed-use, compact communities; and
    4. climate adaptation to address flooding, drought and bushfires.
  2. Development that is affordable, ecologically sound, water and energy efficient, integrated with public transport, and fosters community interaction.
  3. To reduce the spatial disconnection between residential and employment locations particularly for disadvantaged groups.
  4. Improved integration of planning and transport aimed at better use of existing and planned infrastructure.
  5. Ecological sustainability and contribution to a safe climate as funding criteria for all federal development and infrastructure programs.
  6. A national report card for progress towards ecological sustainability targets in the built environment.
  7. Australian building standards to be improved, to address climate change impacts, and environmental and safety issues, and to improve the sustainability of the built environment.
  8. National urban planning standards that provide for the location of high density housing and commercial buildings close to high capacity public transport, and the clustering of medium-density housing, community facilities and small-scale businesses around neighbourhood shopping centres.
  9. Spatial planning that harmonises local development and infrastructure solutions that support social equity, walkability, transport, food production, tree cover, biodiversity and habitats, in responding to energy, land and water supply pressures as part of a climate change adaptation strategy.
  10. Spatial planning that avoids new and further development of all areas with flooding potential (coastal, estuarine and riparian), and includes flood mitigation infrastructure for existing developments in flood-prone areas.
  11. Bushland, wetlands and other habitats and ecosystems to be protected and appropriately managed for conservation, and linked through connected conservation zones.
  12. Communities empowered through participation in the formulation, planning, decision-making, implementation and monitoring of the planning processes and outcomes.
  13. Environmental and social impacts and the rights of nature to be identified to enable careful and considered strategy-led planning and informed decisions on approval and conditions of a land use or development proposal.
  14. Promotion of energy efficiency strategies and opportunities for all sectors, regulation requiring world best standards in all new buildings and incentives to progressively update existing buildings including regulations to set minimum standards for all commercial, industrial, retail and rental residential buildings.
  15. Urban areas designed to reduce dependence on transport and the need for lengthy commutes, with more community precincts meeting the needs of residents, by providing work, education, shopping, community and social activities and active transport (walking, cycling) opportunities.
  16. Planning laws to require that ecological sustainability is a primary consideration in all decisions and approval processes: including by considering opportunities to mitigate the impact of the proposal on the climate and environment more generally and awareness of the potential impact of climate change on the proposed development to ensure inclusion of appropriate adaptive measures.

Aims — Transport

The Australian Greens want:

  1. Public transport services that are fast, frequent, reliable, affordable, accessible and safe, in order to reduce car dependence and provide equity of access to transport.
  2. Increased opportunities for the community to participate in and guide transport planning.
  3. Major airports and airport expansions located to minimise social and environmental impacts, and to be connected by public transport services.
  4. High-quality walking and cycling infrastructure that is integrated with public transport networks.
  5. Better transport services to, within and between rural and regional areas.
  6. Transport infrastructure and services that are accessible to people with a disability or impaired mobility.
  7. A national plan for passenger and freight transport which is ecologically, socially and economically sustainable and outlines a transition to net zero carbon transport.
  8. To eliminate dangerous level crossings in urban areas, and ensure the presence of signals on all crossings in rural and regional parts of the national rail network.
  9. Adopted and enforceable world’s best practice fuel efficiency standards and mandatory fuel efficiency labelling of new petrol and diesel vehicles.
  10. Greater research into, and development in, net zero carbon fuels and transport technologies.
  11. Development of electric and non-fossil fuel mobility infrastructure and growth in electric and non-fossil fuel vehicle uptake.
  12. High-quality rail corridors between major cities and regional centres, to support fast and efficient freight and passenger services, including east coast high-speed rail.
  13. Australian ports and coastal shipping to operate in the public interest, and to ensure environmental and social sustainability of our coastal regions.
  14. Partnerships between Federal, State and Local Government to plan and deliver sustainable transport initiatives and infrastructure.
  15. Clean energy infrastructure which includes a world-class public transport system, high-speed rail connecting interstate capitals and major regional centres, an inter-regional rail and bus network servicing passengers and freight and nationwide coverage of electric vehicle charging facilities.

[Policy endorsed: May 2018]