South-East Queensland could face another public transport hike

ALEX HEINKE reports.

Rising public transport fares in south-east Queensland will be taken under review by a specialised taskforce appointed by the state government.

The group of eight members, chaired by the director of transport and planning consultancy firm MR Cagney, Neil Cagney, will investigate a new fare strategy.


Transport Minister Jackie Trad said  with the new approach will target the boosting of the network’s slowing patron numbers while also securing a sustainable revenue stream.

“We recognise that affordability is perceived to be a barrier to growing patronage on the public transport network and the fare review will work to address this ongoing challenge to create a fairer system,” Ms Trad said.

Opposition transport spokesman Scott Emerson said Ms Trad contradicted her director-general Neil Scales in a budget estimates hearing on Wednesday, when she said fares would rise by 1.5 per cent after Mr Scales had said they would rise by 2.5 per cent.

“We don’t know what it’s going to be and here we have a minister who has no idea what fares will be,” Mr Emerson said.

“We could be going back to the bad old days of Labor and 15 per cent fare increases.”

But Ms Trad said 2.5 per cent was a prediction and public transport fares would only rise alongside inflation when the new year starts.

In November 2014, fares were cut state-wide by five per cent, when the former Liberal National Party (LNP) government put $30 million saved from the carbon tax into supplementing the cost of fares.

The LNP also froze fares during 2015.