AAA Expresses Concern Over Cut to Road Funding


The Australian Automobile Association has today expressed concern over the recommendation by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) to cut spending on roads.

In a statement released yesterday, the ACF recommended that two thirds of the transport budget should be spent on public and active transport and one third be spent on roads. Since there is no explicit mention of additional funding for transport, this implies that significant cuts would need to be made to road funding.

"While the AAA acknowledges the need for greater investment in public transport, this should not come at the expense of road investment," stated Greg Goodman, Acting Executive Director. "It is important to realise that roads are not built exclusively for motorists, but also benefit buses, cyclists and road freight movement. Cuts to road funding would restrict improvements in road safety and the mobility of the Australian community."

The AAA notes motorists pay a tax of 38.143 cents per litre (cpl), imposed in the form of fuel excise on petrol and diesel at the bowser. The 2010-11 Federal Budget estimated that revenue from petroleum products excise would be $13.21 billion. On average less than one-third of the revenue raised from fuel excise is reinvested in the road network. The remaining money ends up in consolidated revenue.

"Reallocation of existing transport funding from roads to public transport is not the solution," Mr Goodman said. "There is a clear need for greater investment in the land transport network, including roads and public transport. The total fuel excise revenue would provide a substantial funding base for improvements to Australia's transport network."

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