Professor Emeritus Ronald Gardiner, former Dean of QUT's Science Faculty, recently delivered a U3A lecture in which he offered a critical assessment of the Brisbane City Council's planned 'Brisbane Metro' transport system. Professor Gardiner has kindly provided the text of his lecture, including an analysis of the project's funding arrangements, reproduced in the attachment below.
'As with every Australian city, the optimal long-term solution to traffic congestion problems in central Brisbane requires a sizeable fraction of commuters to be enticed out of their cars and into trains and buses. However, for this strategy to succeed, reliable, convenient and efficient public transport must be provided as an attractive alternative. Frequently-observed queues of buses on Victoria Bridge waiting to enter the Cultural Centre busway station are a clear indication that present public transport provision fails to meet this criterion.
'In tackling this and related problems, the Brisbane community should expect of its elected decision-makers that scarce resources – especially those provided by rate-payers and tax-payers – will be spent not opportunistically, to support short-term political objectives, but strategically, to maximise long-term community benefits. It is contended that Brisbane City Council's Brisbane Metro (BM) project fails this test.'