Australian Communities Foundation - Home

Sorry. You're using a browser that we
don't support.

To experience this site, please use Firefox, Chrome or Edge.

Friends of the Earth Melbourne

Better Buses Victoria

Better Buses Victoria

There is an urgent need to decarbonise Australia’s urban transport systems in ways that also reduce the social disadvantage that is entrenched by over-relianc...

australia > VIC > both
04/10/2021 > 30/12/2022


  • Environment conservation & climate change
  • Social inclusion & justice


  • People experiencing socio-economic disadvantage or vulnerability
  • General population


There is an urgent need to decarbonise Australia’s urban transport systems in ways that also reduce the social disadvantage that is entrenched by over-reliance on private cars.

The FoE Better Buses Victoria project will build community support for bus reform in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

These suburbs are home to diverse communities. 47% of residents were born overseas and over 50% speak a language other than English at home, with many facing significant social disadvantage. Unless they have access to an expensive private car, many are excluded from opportunities for work, education, health care and social support and enrichment. Providing accessible and sustainable public transport options in these communities is vital to achieve economic and climate justice.

We know that fast, frequent, and well-connected bus services, delivered by new zero-emission buses, will increase ridership, and reduce emissions. Bus reform is also essential for us to reap all the benefits of the huge investments being made in Melbourne Metro Rail and Airport Rail.

Currently there are gaps in information around which bus routes are most in need of upgrades, particularly in the West. To gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities for bus reform we will be using an online crowdsourcing and survey platform, Crowdspot. This will enable community members to input accurate data on bus services and connections in their local area.

In the lead up to the 2022 State Election, we will work with communities in the West to build support for Better Buses to reduce emissions and reduce reliance on car-based transport.


Our campaign will build community support for increased frequency and connectivity for bus services in key electorates in Melbourne’s West.

Over 90 people attended our online launch in September 2021 including Councillors and staff from all LGAs in Melbourne’s West and members of local community groups, such as Point Cook Action Group, Werribee River Association and Greater Sunshine Community Alliance.

Our specific campaign objectives are:

In the high-growth LGAs of Wyndham, Brimbank, and Hobsons Bay:
- 10-minute bus services in a new well-connected network by 2025
- Transition the whole bus fleet to electric/zero-emissions vehicles by 2025
- Upgrade the state’s 25 worst bus intermodal connections by 2025.

To achieve this over the next 12 months, we will have:

- Built a strong network of community, union, social services and climate groups in the West to demonstrate support for bus reform.
- Held 3 community forums in key electorates, to train, empower and inspire local community organising on the Better Buses campaign.
- Used online engagement with targeted FB advertising and worked with local community groups to gather more than 1000 signatures on our online petition
- Gained 500+ submissions using the innovative Crowdspot platform to identify the worst problems in our current bus networks.
- Met with all local MPs and relevant Ministers to get clear commitments to Better Buses campaign objectives before the 2022 State election.

We have a strong plan to raise the $138,000 required to fund this campaign from a range of sources.

We are seeking $14,950 from the ACF to allow us to use the Crowdspot platform to create interactive online maps that allow people across Victoria to identify problems with the existing bus network.

Profile of Friends of the Earth Melbourne

Friends of the Earth Melbourne

Friends of the Earth Melbourne is a grassroots environmental and social justice organisation. Our organisation works to protect the natural environment through empowering local communities to develop effective and strategic campaigns.
Our vision is of a world where everyone’s needs are met in a way which safeguards the future of the environment. We campaign for a world where environmental protection, social justice, and economic welfare for all people go hand in hand. Through our local, grassroots networks, we work with the community to communicate, raise awareness, put forward alternatives and take action. We challenge the current model of economic and corporate neoliberal globalisation, and promote solutions that will help to create environmentally sustainable and socially just societies.

Our philosophy and practice is grounded in our messaging 'mobilise, resist, transform'. We want to help communities find their political voice, to create profound and long lasting system change.


TOTAL BUDGET: $138,975
Funding sourceAmount
Funding gap (unconfirmed)$14,950
Major Donors$19,990
Philanthropic Bodies$40,000
Expense itemAmount
Campaigner - 1.0 FTE for 12 months$92,349
Community Forums (venue hire, Welcome to Country, speakers, catering)$4,000
Crowdspot online platform (community engagement survey on buses)$13,000
Video production and editing$2,500
Research funding (message testing and policy)$3,000
Campaign materials (fliers, corflutes, scorecards etc)$3,000
Marketing and social media advertising$3,000
Project Administration Costs$18,126

Support Better Buses Victoria

Got a question about this project or ready to contribute? Contact our Philanthropy & Impact Team.


As a broker of change, we invite social change initiatives to apply for funding. Eligible proposals are shared with our giving community via our Granting Opportunities directory.