Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Our Meeting with the new Transport Minister and Setting the Agenda

On March the 6th we met with new Transport Minister Jackie Trad. We thank her for taking time to meet us, a grass-roots protest group, and hear our concerns. We told her public transport in South East Queensland is woefully inadequate and needs major reform. This won’t be easy and requires vision and commitment.

We strongly reiterated our key concerns which included concessions for low income Health Care Card (HCC) holders, abolishing the Tertiary Transport Concession Card (TTCC), fare and zone reform, organisational reform of the three existing bureaucracies (Queensland Rail, Brisbane Transport and Translink), and removal of existing public transport planning powers from Brisbane City Council.

The minister reconfirmed her stated election position, including fare reform, abolishing the TTCC and concessions for HCC holders, but she could not yet provide specific time frames. She took our views on board regarding the parlous state of SEQ PT and the need for reform. Importantly, she agreed to meet us again in six months.

A week later we were pleased to find our opinion piece based on our briefing to the minister had been published in the Courier Mail, the first time our name has ever been mentioned in that paper. We feel the response has been positive and that some more engaging conversations will happen in the coming months.

We understand that this Labor government has it's work cut out, but we feel that much can be done by our new transport minister to engage with the court of public opinion. This is where we will be drumming up some visions for the future based on what the people want and asking Jackie Trad to share more about how our system really works so that the public can make an informed contribution.