There is a lot to dislike about the lead-up to a State Election. Election Promises are my pet peeve this year. Opposition leader Ted Bailieau has promised that children and full-time students will have free public transport if he gets into power. He has pledged $285 million over four years to achieve this. I have several problems with this. The first is that $285 million could go so far to actually improving the public transport system itself. God knows it needs it. Failing that, it could be used to subsidise fairs overall – lets face it, we’re all over-charged and it would only irritate me to go on paying full fare while some brat is getting the service for free. The Libs claim it’s part of their on-going commitment to education, helping students, and so forth... but as far as I can see, Mr Bailieau is blatantly vote-buying, gaining support from parents and students (the ones old enough to vote anyway) without the application of common sense. The current Labor government have said flat-out that they’re not going to try and match this offer, at least they know it’ll drive state budget into deficit.
The Liberals have consistently targeted the public transport system as one of their major election issues. They hand out flyers detailing all the problems on the train lines, without ever stating that they will do anything about or what they would do if they did. And now they’re blowing that money on giving students free transport.