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.
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