- Bridging the Gap between Policy Rhetoric and Action: Role of the State, Public Sector Organizations and Individuals in Sustainable Transport in Australia    click here to open paper content105 kb
by    Piracha, Awais | a.piracha@uws.edu.au   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Australia has peculiar taxation policies subsidizing car purchases and rewarding higher mileages. Even environmentally conscious organizations like universities and local governments are actively facilitating the use of these subsidies by their employees.
Abstract
Ecologically sustainable development (ESD) is the stated planning policy at all three levels of government in Australia. The ratification of the Local Agenda 21 by the Commonwealth of Australia is a strong indication of commitment to sustainability by Australia. Most public sector organizations most notably universities and local councils also promote sustainability initiatives within their institutions and in the wider community.

Use of private car has been identified as a major contributor to air pollution, sprawl, traffic congestion, and green house gas emissions. As such it is not surprising to find a plethora of schemes and initiatives that promote public transportation and discourage over-reliance of the private car.

Yet the number of cars on Australian roads keeps on increasing each year as does the per capita usage of kilometers traveled. Australia has a peculiar set of taxation mechanism in place which through direct subsidies encourage rapid rise in car use. Even environmentally conscious organizations such as universities and the local governments are actively facilitating use of these subsidies by their employees. This suggests that even when the problem and required measures to address it are clearly identified, there can remain significant gaps between the policy rhetoric and action.

This paper analyzes the mechanisms that encourage car use in Australia. With the help of a survey, it also has a closer look into the real actions of the environmentally conscious public organizations and individuals when it comes to car use. It focuses on gaps between rhetoric and action and seeks to identify the reasons at two levels investigating the individual choice and culture within employing organizations.

The paper also presents examples from a few of organizations attempting to bridge the gap between rhetoric and action on sustainable transport.
Keywords
Car Use, Sustainability, Policy Rhetoric
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