Government’s transport infrastructure focus welcomed
The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) today welcomed the Government’s study of alternative infrastructure funding models as a good first step towards meeting Australia’s long-term land transport needs.
AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said: “As a source of infrastructure revenue Australia’s current tax system is unsustainable, inequitable, and inefficient, but any effort to improve it relies upon the community clearly understanding both the current system’s failings, and the reforms being considered.
“The AAA has long called for an apolitical study of the strengths and weaknesses of possible future motoring tax models and congratulates the Government on what is an important first step.”
Increasing vehicle efficiency and increased market penetration of electric vehicles is forecast to severely affect both the total amount of revenue collected via the Federal Government’s fuel excise regime, and the equity of the amount collected amongst the community.
At a time when the demand for transport infrastructure will continue to increase, it is important that the Government reviews the sustainability and the fairness of the means by which it funds the transport infrastructure of the future.
The study, announced as part of the Government’s response to the Infrastructure Australia 15 Year Plan, should aim to help Australians understand that the current system of transport funding has significant flaws and how proposed models might work, what they would mean for the household budget, and how they would help secure Australia’s transport and economic future.
To help inform the community, the AAA has also called for fuel excise to be displayed on sales dockets in the same way as GST is, in response to AAA research showing one in three Australians are unaware they pay fuel excise. Such a step would help consumers better understand how much they pay under the current transport funding model and to clearly compare this with models resulting from the Government’s transport funding study.