Transport Disadvantage Policy 2017
Disadvantage Policy
The Transport Disadvantage Policy 2017 is an overarching Policy that will
guide Council’s responses to transport disadvantage in Brimbank.
1.0 Policy aim and objectives
Council recognises the impacts that transport disadvantage can have on people and the
many health and social impacts that can arise from the lack of available and accessible
transport options. Local Government has an important role in leading, partnering and
advocating for improved transport solutions in Brimbank.
The Policy aims to
Guide the development of a sustainable transport system in the City of Brimbank.
Support public health, social and economic outcomes for the Brimbank community.
The Policy objectives are:
To inform the development and delivery of affordable and accessible transport
To contribute to reducing the nature and extent of transport disadvantage in
Brimbank and strengthen local cohesion.
To provide a platform with which to advocate for increased funding and resources to
strengthen social cohesion and community wellbeing.
2.0 Definition of terms being used
Community transport
consists mainly of services provided by councils and not-for
profit community organisations using cars, minibuses, brokered taxis, or a combination
of these to fill gaps in public and private transport.
Transport disadvantage
occurs when local transport options make it difficult for
people to access services, facilities, programs and employment. This can lead to social
and economic exclusion and can affect the wellbeing of individuals and communities.
Transport disadvantage can be further defined as:
Accessible transport –
means an individual’s overall ability and ease of getting to a
service or activity.
Economic transport disadvantage –
occurs when cost prohibits access to available
transport. It also includes the concept of transport stress experienced by a household,
which is where an unreasonable proportion of household income is absorbed by transport

Transport Disadvantage Policy 2017
Local social cohesion –
occurs when a community works towards the wellbeing of its
members with the aim of creating a sense of belonging within the community.
Locational transport disadvantage –
occurs when there is very little or a complete
absence of publicly funded transport choices or its scheduling is not frequent enough to
meet needs.
Personal transport disadvantage –
occurs when a person’s mobility is affected by
age (including youth), disability, frailty, poor health or language barriers.
Sustainable transport –
means that Councils actions meet current needs without
compromising the prospects of future generations. This requires Council to incorporate
environmental considerations alongside social and economic values in the decision
making process for sustainable transport options.
3.0 Policy statement and principles
Community transport in Victoria meets the accessibility needs of some people; it tends
to be an enabler of other funded services and programs rather than designated to
broader transport disadvantage in the community. The provision of community transport
is usually a result of an initiative by non-transport services, which recognise that
transport is a basic requirement for service delivery.
For historical reasons, community transport is a marginal transport service characterised
by multiple funding sources and a lack of any effective overall planning or coordination
at either a community level or within government. The Victorian community transport
sector faces a number of significant challenges, which include:
Insufficient funding – for new services and/or to expand existing services to meet the
full service costs and, unlike other states, there is no discrete funding for community
transport services in Victoria which has restricted the growth of services.
Uneven distribution – the availability and standard of community transport services
varies widely across local government areas with many communities having no
access to services.
Inequitable access – only clients of government funding programs are eligible to use
the service.
Narrowly focused
typically only transport for shopping, social support services and
medical and health related matters.
Excess capacity/under-utilised
distribution and varied ownership of community bus
fleets leads to inefficiencies which could be addressed with a different approach to
service delivery, funding and governance.
The City of Brimbank is the second largest municipality in Melbourne. Many residential
areas are a significant distance from public transport routes and the majority of
industrial precincts cannot be accessed by public transport. With limited transport
choices available to residents, combined with high levels of socio-economic
disadvantage, there is increasing pressure to provide transport services to meet the
transport requirements of the community.
For people living with a disability, young people and older people, many health and social
impacts can arise from the lack of available and accessible transport options. For these
groups the impact may be an increase in social isolation; reduced access to medical
services; limited recreational, educational and sporting opportunities; and, reliance on

Transport Disadvantage Policy 2017
expensive public transport particularly for families on low incomes and newly arrived
Transport in Brimbank
Transport disadvantage across the city of Brimbank includes:
Limited transport choices available to Brimbank residents, with no trams, limited bus
services and limited cycling and walking tracks which leads to individuals relying on
cars to drive to their destination.
Industrial areas to the south west of Brimbank are particularly poorly serviced. This
has resulted in 92% of people travelling to work in Brimbank by car, with only 4% by
public transport (2011 Census).
Thirty-two per cent of work trips to Brimbank were generated from within Brimbank,
with 47% from neighbouring municipalities. These are relatively short trips that may
be well suited to bus travel.
Two passenger train lines through Brimbank – the Sydenham/Sunbury line and
Melton line. The Sydenham line is one of the most overcrowded lines in Melbourne.
The Melton line is a rural service with limited commuter access into Melbourne.
The current bus network is poor, with irregular services – particularly at night and on
weekends. There are also routes that need extending and creating to provide a viable
option to driving.
Limitations on public transport services place an over reliance on private vehicles,
and households without a motor vehicle can be disadvantaged if they are not in areas
served by good public transport networks.
The bus network can play a key role in the transport network by providing access to
jobs and activity centres. However, the current network is poor, with irregular
services – particularly at night and on weekends, and there are routes that need
extending and creating to provide viable options to driving.
Bus services need to be extended geographically in areas experiencing population
growth. In many areas, bus services need improved frequency and expanded hours of
operation to improve their effectiveness.
In addition, improving linkages and connectivity to the principal public transport network
of metropolitan tram, train and the emerging premium SmartBus services, is a key
Community transport provision – Brimbank City Council
Council provides a community transport service for people who are transport
disadvantaged and are unable to travel on public transport due to age, disability, health,
social or geographic isolation or economic circumstances. The majority of people using
the service are older people and people with disabilities who are registered as eligible
through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) or the HACC program
(Home and Community Care).
Brimbank City Council, Unlock The Opportunity – Transport Priorities for the City of Brimbank

Transport Disadvantage Policy 2017
The service comprises:
Assisted transport – door to door transport for eligible clients who require
assistance to go shopping, attend social support groups and other community
based programs.
Program transport – door to door transport for eligible clients to attend programs
or services such as Planned Activity Groups, Senior Citizen events, outings and
Council has designated a fleet of community transport vehicles which provides the
The following principles underpin Council’s position on transport disadvantage:
As detailed in the Brimbank Social Justice Charter 2012, when planning and delivering
community transport services, Council will ensure:
Access –
Council is actively committed to delivering accessible information, facilities
and services that enable people to participate in community life.
Equity –
Council is committed to equity to increase opportunities for the most
disadvantaged groups in our community to access services and participate in
community life.
Community participation –
Council acknowledges its role to promote democracy
and citizenship at the municipal level.
Human rights and responsibilities –
Council recognises that human rights are
basic entitlements that belong to everyone, regardless of our background, where we
live, what we look like, what we think or what we believe.
Council will act in the following roles to achieve the Policy aim and objectives:
Lead –
Council provides leadership by recognising the needs and aspirations of the
Council’s objective for this action area is:
To promote and advocate for a
responsive, integrated and coordinated transport service for Brimbank. To identify the
needs of transport disadvantaged groups and individuals and partner with stakeholders
to address.
To achieve this Council will:
Review community transport governance options.
Review community transport service types for Brimbank.
Continue to review its Community Transport program to deliver current services
and inform future transport options.
Partner –
Council will actively partner and consult with stakeholders to investigate
solutions to public transport disadvantage.
Council’s objective for this action area is:
To develop partnerships with key
stakeholders (philanthropic, sporting and community agencies).
To achieve this Council will:
Partner with stakeholders to define the role for community transport within the
municipality based on an agreed vision.
Identify future needs for community transport.
Profile current and future users.

Transport Disadvantage Policy 2017
Investigate and seek sustainable funding from the Victorian government,
corporate and private entities.
Seek support from relevant agencies providing community transport to partner
with Council and the community to undertake an integrated local community
transport planning approach.
Advocate –
to Federal and State Governments to improve services, opportunities and
resources for those groups in the community who are most disadvantaged.
Council’s objective for this action area is:
Council will advocate to Federal and State
Governments to improve services, opportunities and resources for those groups in the
community who are most disadvantaged.
To achieve this Council will:
Promote Council’s Transport Disadvantage Policy 2017 and advocacy initiatives
for improved services and opportunities for transport disadvantage.
4.0 Specific requirements
The action areas in the Transport Disadvantage Policy will be implemented by different
function areas of Council over the next four years (2017-2021), in partnership with
identified stakeholders.
An implementation plan for the Transport Disadvantage Policy 2017 will be developed
and monitored on an annual basis.
An evaluation of the Transport Disadvantage Policy 2017 and Implementation Plan will
occur in 2020 to review what was achieved in the context of changes to State and
Federal Policy and legislation, transport disadvantage and socio-demographic trends and
Council’s position on transport disadvantage.
5.0 Related Council Policy
The Brimbank Transport Disadvantage Policy 2017 relates to other Council transport
policies. While these policies are focused on improving transport connectivity and
accessibility across the general community, disadvantaged members of the community
in particular benefit from improvements to sustainable, and more affordable, transport
modes such as public transport, walking and cycling paths. Related Council transport
policies include:
Brimbank Community Plan 2009-2030 (Updated 2013)
Brimbank Council Plan - 2017-2021
Brimbank Social Justice Charter (2012)
Economic Development Strategy (2016)
Unlock the Opportunity – Transport Priorities (2016)
Brimbank Cycling and Walking Strategy (2016)
History of amendment
Review date
Reason for amendment
Next review date
1 9/08/2017
Select date
Select date
Approved by council: Yes
Date approved by council: 19/09/2017