Young Advocates Propose Bill to Minimise Travel Emissions in Victoria

A group of young people from Boroondara, have proposed a Bill on Travel Emission Reduction Strategies at the Y Victorian Youth Parliament, aiming to minimise carbon emissions caused by transportation in regional Victoria.

The proposed Bill stems from a need to lower the impact on climate through increasing the scope and efficiency of public transport system, increasing the appeal of carbon-neutral transportation modes (eg. cycling, walking) and increasing the accessibility of existing public transport systems.

The Bill is spearheaded by a group of 3 incredible young people: Maddy Driscoll, Sabina Koch and Sophie Chen. They say “this Bill will make lives better, easier and simultaneously support Victoria’s Climate Goals”.

For Victorians, this Bill will “improve their now and secure their future”.

They also aim to establish a Travel Emissions Reduction (TER) board to engage with commuters in communities, especially those in regional areas in order to conduct research into the efficiency of the public transport system. Through this, evidence-based policies and strategies can be developed to cater to the needs of Victorians living in rural areas.

In Victoria, transport makes up the second largest source, accounting for 25% of carbon emissions. Within the state’s transport system, road transport, such as cars, commercial and heavy vehicles, constitutes 87% of travel emissions.

The Boroondara Youth team recognises that the infrastructure and resources for alternative methods of travelling are still limited; so they are seeking to increase their accessibility, quality and efficiency.

The Bill aims to increase the punctuality and frequency of public transport vehicles, as well as increased routes to the city from rural areas.

Commenting on the significance of this Bill, a spokesperson for the youth team states,

“Victoria's strong economic and population growth in recent years has led to significant increases in transport demand and usage. This Bill is about encouraging change, allowing people to better access public transport, cycling and walking.”

They further highlighted the safety concerns associated with walking and the deterrence faced by cyclists due to inadequate infrastructure and facilities.

The Travel Emissions Reduction Bill received overwhelming support from the Legislative Assembly, with the majority of Y Victorian Youth Parliamentarians voting in favour.

- Reported by Tien Tran, 2023