Declining transport investment rejected by Australians


As families pay more every year in fuel excise, new research shows Australians overwhelmingly reject governments spending a decreasing proportion of that excise on land transport.  The proportion of fuel excise spent on roads and rail is projected to halve, to around 1 cent out of every 4 cents collected by 2020.

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) today released Keep Australia Moving; How Australians experience their transport options. The research report shows almost 90% of Australians want more than 50% of their fuel taxes to be invested into roads and rail. 

AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said the AAA is calling for the next Australian Government to invest a guaranteed minimum of 50% of net fuel excise in land transport, a policy clearly supported by voters.

“Our research makes it clear that voters want more of their excise dollars going to transport projects capable of decreasing congestion and boosting their local economies, and that they are prepared to vote for the party that listens to them,” Mr Bradley said.

“Over recent decades, only 47% of the tax paid by motorists at the bowser has found its way into the federal land transport infrastructure budget. And by 2020, this figure will be down to 27%.

 “Our research shows congestion is seen by Australians as having worsened over the past year, with many expecting it to deteriorate further in the coming year. Their dismay is supported by Government figures that show congestion currently costs our economy $16 billion per year and that this will rise to $53 billion[i] by 2031.

“While Australians may not have full view of the costs of having to rely on the transport systems of the past, it’s clear they know something is wrong; that they are not getting a fair return on their taxes. And it’s becoming clear they are considering taking action at the ballot box.”

The AAA research shows 41% of Australians would be more likely to vote for a party that invested more funding from fuel excise in transport, with 14% of those being surveyed being much more likely to vote for such a party.

The research also shows almost one in three motorists are unaware they pay fuel excise, which is why the AAA is pushing for fuel excise paid at the pump to be included on the receipt, in the same way GST is displayed.

“This will help Australians understand how much tax they pay every time they fill up and to question their local politicians about where the money is going,” Mr Bradley said.

The AAA is urging Australians to contact their local candidates via to demand road and rail investments capable of sustaining their local economy.

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A copy of the AAA research can be found at:


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