My adjournment matter is for the Treasurer, and the action I seek is for the Treasurer to allocate every cent that is raised from the current congestion levy on parking to sustainable transport projects in the inner city. Unlocking the congestion levy would be a boon for the livability of the inner city and inner-city communities. Using the levy to invest in sustainable transport would create kilometres of separated bike lanes; upgraded pedestrian infrastructure such as shared zones, crossings and streetscapes; and tram super-stops across inner Melbourne.
The congestion levy currently applies to off-street parking spaces in the cities of Melbourne, Yarra, Port Phillip and Moreland and is forecast to generate $100 million per annum in revenue. However, there is no link between this revenue and sustainable transportation spending, except for the City of Melbourne, where they received $7 million, or a 14 per cent rebate on the levy. The rest is placed in consolidated revenue. This is a tax‑and‑don’t‑spend approach by the government, when councils are doing a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to integrated transport plans for their municipalities. For example, Melbourne City Council just passed a 10-year strategy to reduce through traffic in the busiest parts of the city, convert some of their ‘Little’ streets into pedestrian priority shared zones and create more than 50 kilometres of protected bicycle lanes.
Moreland and Port Phillip have 10-year transport plans, with improvements for pedestrians, new and upgraded bike routes and level access tram stops, and the City of Yarra has a comprehensive cycling strategy. By adopting the Greens plan to use all revenue raised from the current congestion levy to implement each council’s integrated transport plan via agreement between the council and the state government, it would provide around $1 billion over 10 years that could be spent on sustainable transport and provide real alternatives to driving in the inner city.