The former Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, left office on 15 September 2015. He consistently refused to fund urban public transport but was happy to fund Westconnex and other radial urban roads. His 2009 book "Battlelines" states on page 173: Mostly, there just aren't enough people wanting to go from a particular place to a particular destination at a particular time to justify any vehicle larger than a car.
The next Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, seemed to take a different view (he had been photographed several times in and around public transport) but nothing came of it, probably because of pressure from his party's Far Right.
The current Prime Minster (Scott Morrison) who took office in August 2018 is also under pressure from the far right but it cannot be long before his party realises they need to moderate their extremists.
Help us persuade Mr Morrison to provide Federal funding for urban public transport.
If you're that kind of person, you could start by telling the Australian Transport Assessment and Planning (ATAP) people that their "Australian Transport Assessment and Planning Guidelines" should be updated to reflect the social and environmental benefits of public transport systems in large cities. No submissions are open at present but might be open later.. Learn more...
Also, Federal funding is warranted for projects with regional or interstate benefits, such as Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane fast passenger rail services that could start weaning Australians off wasteful air travel.