Don’t they realise that Australia is at a critical crossroad in terms of energy and transport? Worldwide conventional oil production has “peaked’, we have passed peak oil.
Building more roads will not alleviate congestion, only add to it and further increase our car and oil addiction. Perth has a ratio of 841 cars per 1000 people; this is not sustainable. Rail (trains/trams) is the transport of the future; we should not be catering for more of the same, the old, tired solutions again; more cars and buses.
If our car dependency goes unchecked, cities and communities will lose out in competiveness and wealth creation. Failing to attract people and business, which rail can deliver, underlines the need for better public transport, particularly rail.
Rail also has the advantage of being powered by electricity and not oil.
There are those who espouse the alternate fuel sources, such as tar sands, oil from fracturing, fuel from Ethanol and algae say we have nothing to worry about.
They have their heads buried in the sand. Our world uses 87 million barrels of oil per day and this figure is increasing. Those who think alternate fuels will save us are delusional.
Tar sands and fracturing is very costly. Producing fuel from this source takes three barrels of oil to make one barrel of the black gold.
Around the world, governments are turning to rail because they are viable, progressive, reliable and efficient in moving large numbers of passengers that will occur when peak oil hits. People will be looking for transport alternatives.
For those who remember the Arab oil embargo in 1973 when the OPEC community cut oil production by just 5 per cent, that put the entire world into a spin.
Well, peak oil will be on a larger scale, across our world.
Therefore, where is the wisdom in building more roads?