More Sustainable Transport
Australia faces a transport infrastructure shortfall which is already costing the economy around $18 billion per year and contributing to the numbers of deaths and injuries on our roads. The cost of congestion alone is projected to grow to $53 billion1 by 2031.
Although motorists pay around $28 billion in taxes and charges every year, the allocation of funding into road and public transport infrastructure remains ad hoc, unfair, and lacking in transparency.
A report by ACIL Allen2 commissioned by the AAA found the building and maintenance of land transport infrastructure has fallen behind growth in demand, and the gap is widening. In some instances, we are merely treading water. In other cases, we are sinking, with congestion costs continuing to rise strongly and expected to exceed the value of road related expenditure as early as 2018–19.
ACIL Allen also predicted the shortfall of Australian Government road funding relative to road related revenues is in excess of $45 billion during the period 2014–15 to 2019–20.
If we are to have roads and rail systems that are safe and which support our economy rather than hindering its growth, we must have increased and sustained investment in transport systems.
The AAA advocates for:
- The establishment of a Transport Infrastructure Fund - with a guaranteed minimum of 50 per cent of net fuel excise paid into the fund to be spent on land transport infrastructure.
- Examination of alternative funding models - a public inquiry into transport market reform and how we move in the long term to a system that replaces current taxes with a fairer road user pricing mechanism. Led by a body such as the Productivity Commission or Infrastructure Australia, this inquiry is the critical next step in developing a funding model capable of building the transport system Australia needs for the 21st century.
- Analysis of Australia’s infrastructure shortfall – ongoing independent infrastructure delivery and demand auditing by Infrastructure Australia and the use by Government of this information combined with safety-risk analysis in setting investment priorities.
- Improved energy security – ensuring Australians and Australian businesses have continued access to a fuel supply that is adequate, reliable and competitively priced.