You might want to read a more recent post on this topic published in 2019.
This post charts some key Australian transport trends based on the latest available official data estimates as at January 2017 (including the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Economics 2016 Yearbook).
Car use per capita has continued to decline in most Australian cities (the exceptions being Adelaide and Brisbane, but still well down on the peak of 2004):
Mass transit’s share of motorised passenger kms was very slightly in decline in most cities in 2014-15 (the exceptions being Sydney and Adelaide)
(note: “mass transit” includes trains, trams, ferries, and both public and private buses)
At the same time, estimated total vehicle kilometres in Australian cities has been increasing:
However, mass transit use has outpaced growth in car usage since 2003-04 across the five big cities:
In terms of percentage annual growth, car use growth only exceeded mass transit in 2009-10, and 2012-13.
Car ownership has still been slowly increasing (note the Y axis scale):
Australia’s domestic transport greenhouse gas emissions actually ever-so-slightly declined in 2015-16:
Here is driver licence ownership by age group for Australia:
(note: the rate is calculated as the sum of car, motorbike and truck licenses – including learner and probationary licences, divided by population. Some people have more than one driver’s licence so it’s not a perfect measure)
From June 2014 to June 2015, license ownership rates increased in all age groups except 30-39, 60-69 and 80+.
2015 saw a change in the trend on licence ownership rates for teenagers, with a slight increase after four years of decline. However the trends are quite different in each state:
(note: in most states 16 is the age where people are able to obtain a learner’s permit)
I’m really not sure why Western Australia has such a low licence ownership rate compared to the other states (maybe the data doesn’t actually include learner permits).
And finally, here are licence ownership rates for people aged 20-24, showing quite different trends in different states:
I’ll aim to elaborate more on these trends in updates to subject-specific posts when I get time.