Contrasts in reform: How the Cain and Burke years shaped public transport in Melbourne and Perth

All authors:
Stone, J.
Host organisation: CoE Melbourne, Australia
Country: Australia
Publication year: 2009
Published in:
Urban Policy and Research, Vol. 27 (4): 419—434.
Research theme: Change Processes and Institutional Innovation, Public Transport
public transport planning, politics, institutions, civic action, Melbourne, Perth
Research article
Melbourne's public transport system, despite its extensive train and tramlines, is facing major challenges. From a point of near-extinction in the late 1970s, Perth's historically smaller public transport system is arguably now better placed to deal with growing environmental and economic pressures. The election of reformist governments in Victoria and Western Australia in the early 1980s provided critical opportunities for public transport in both cities. This article documents the striking differences in the behaviour of the politicians, bureaucrats and civic action groups engaged in contention over transport policy in the two cities during this period. These differences had a significant influence on the performance of public transport in Melbourne and Perth today, and point to changes that will be required to improve transport policy outcomes in Melbourne.
February 2020
Upcoming Events
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
v5            1 2
v6  3 4 5 6 7 8 9
v7  10 11 12 13 14 15 16
v8  17 18 19 20 21 22 23
v9  24 25 26 27 28 29  


The VREF invites PhD students and researchers in early stages of their career to apply for a Study Visit Grant to be supported with up to SEK 30 000.

Each year the Håkan Frisinger Foundation for Transportation Research awards a scholarship to a prominent researcher.


Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarships for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency targets supporting the momentum of Lee Schipper’s contribution to the international policy dialogue in these fields.

This yearly award is aimed at supporting young individual researchers and students in is pursuance.


Blog! Blog! Blog!

Global Mobility Research

This Meeting of the Minds' blog monthly releases interviews of global transportation researchers from the VREF's Future Urban Transport Program Network.


This CityFix series, produced by the WRI (World Ressources Institute) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and supported by the VREF, discusses walking and cycling in cities with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries.

About VREF

The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) inspires, initiates and supports research and educational activities through the Future Urban Transport Programme - How to deal with the complexity of urban transport (FUT). 

Our Vision: Sustainable transport for equitable access in urban areas

Read more

© Copyright VREF