Election 2016: AAA says the new economy rides on roads and rail
With the election campaign officially underway, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has reminded all political parties that transport infrastructure investment is central to the future strength of Australia’s economy.
AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said: “The AAA hopes and expects the coming campaign to be a contest of ideas regarding Australia’s economic transition.
“Our message to both parties, is that irrespective of where you want to take this country and our economy, we’re going to need substantive transport investment and reform to get us there, because we cannot have the economy of the future, using the transport systems of the past.”
According to the Government’s own figures congestion already costs about $16.5 billion per year and further threatens economic growth and living standards, potentially costing Australia $53 billion by 2031.
In addition to this, road crashes cost the economy in the order of $27 billion annually, on top of the personal and social costs for the more than 30,000 Australians injured on our roads each year.
Mr Bradley said: “Effective and efficient transport systems, including roads and public transport, will continue to be the lifeblood of our economy. That’s why the AAA, on behalf of its constituent motoring clubs and their nearly 8 million members, will use this campaign period to seek better funding and planning of land transport infrastructure, as well as a number of important projects needed to keep Australia moving.”
The policies the AAA will call for include:
- The establishment of a transport infrastructure fund into which a guaranteed minimum of 50% of net fuel excise will be paid to create a pool to be invested in land transport infrastructure;
- Ensuring the Australian Government continues to fund public transport, intelligent transport systems, and local active transport projects to help ease congestion, reduce transport costs and improve safety outcomes in our cities;
- The establishment of an independent inquiry into future transport funding in line with Infrastructure Australia’s recommendation for 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; and,
- Infrastructure projects across all jurisdictions valued at more than $80 billion.