Traffic congestion banked up in Melbourne along a tram line

Tackling Melbourne’s Congestion – Melbourne

Plenty of people think congestion is a real problem in Melbourne, and they are right. Up until now, state governments’ main efforts to reduce congestion have been to build new roads and add new public transport services. But decades of new roads and new public transport have left us with the level of congestion we see today.

At this Grattan Institute/State Library of Victoria Policy Pitch event, a panel of experts discussed the proposal to charge drivers a fee to drive on the busiest roads at the busiest times.


Ashleigh Cormack is the Head of Cities Policy, Australia and New Zealand at Uber. She is part of Uber’s global public policy team, leading their work across a number of key markets in Australia and New Zealand. Ashleigh also leads Uber ANZ’s ‘Future of Cities’ policy and research program exploring the role Uber and transport technology can play in improving the productivity, liveability and sustainability of our cities. Her background in transport, infrastructure, arts and culture, land-use and urban policy spans both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Uber, Ashleigh worked at Infrastructure Australia, the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, Create NSW and the Tourism and Transport Forum.

Lauren Walker is a Principal Consultant (Transport Advisory) and Project Manager at Vietch Lister Consulting, and her primary responsibility is to deliver of projects of the highest possible standard for her clients, both on time and within budget. She is an experienced transport planner and strategic modeller. Her project experience is highly varied and ranges from strategic planning studies, to demand forecasting for major transport infrastructure projects and the examination of more localised transport demands and network performance in the present and in the future. One of her key skills is the clear communication of complex model results in easy to read reports that allow non-modellers to understand the relevance of model outputs. This skill is complemented by considerable GIS experience, allowing her to support written explanations with meaningful visual analysis.

Marion Terrill is a leading policy analyst with experience that ranges from authoring parts of the 2010 Henry Tax Review to leading the design and development of the MyGov account. She joined the Grattan Institute in April 2015 to establish the Transport Program, and has published on investment in transport infrastructure, cost overruns, value capture, discount rates and congestion. In October she published two reports: Why it’s time for congestion charging: better ways to manage busy urban roads, and Right time, right place, right price: a practical plan for congestion charging in Sydney and Melbourne.


Paul Austin is the Editor at Grattan Institute. Paul worked for many years as a journalist and editor at Fairfax and News Corporation. He reported from the Canberra and Spring Street press galleries, and was at various times Deputy Editor and Opinion Editor of both The Age and The Australian newspapers. He won a Quill Award for best deadline reporting and was highly commended in the Walkley Awards for best feature writing and the Quill Awards for best columnist. More recently he has been an independent media and communications consultant, specialising in speech writing, editing, and strategic and political advice.