Keep Australia Moving – putting Australians in the driver’s seat
Australia’s motoring clubs will today launch a national advertising campaign encouraging their eight million members to tell candidates why stronger investment in transport infrastructure needs to be prioritised in their local communities this election.
The Keep Australia Moving campaign is being run by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) and will promote the need for a bipartisan approach to the transport policies and projects needed to underpin Australia’s economic transition.
AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said: “Worsening traffic congestion and a lack of public transport options are not just an outrage for those who have to live with these issues each day, they also threaten our national productivity, which is why they affect us all.
“In an election campaign focused upon Australia’s economic transition and competing visions for our economic future, the AAA wants every candidate to understand why their community can’t be part of the economy of the future while it relies on the transport infrastructure of the past.”
Australian Government figures show congestion already costs the Australian economy $16.5 billion[i] per year and by 2031 this figure is forecast to have grown to $53 billion. The Government also puts the cost of congestion at around $1000 per person per year in our major capital cities[ii].
Road crashes also cost the economy $27 billion[iii]; a figure that does not include the social or emotional costs associated with having more than 30,000 Australians killed or injured on our roads each year.
Mr Bradley said: “Australian motorists will this year pay more than $18 billion in federal road-related taxes and they are currently getting a very bad return on that investment, mainly because too little of this enormous financial contribution is finding its way back into our infrastructure budget.
“It is pleasing to see both sides of politics outlining new approaches to infrastructure funding, however we intend to encourage our members to underscore the urgency of the challenge at hand, so that members of Australia’s next Parliament understand the costs of inaction.”
The policies and priority projects the AAA wants to see supported by both major parties this election are outlined in Keep Australia Moving: A Land Transport Blueprint, which can be downloaded here at www.keepaustraliamoving.com. It recommends:
- 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 roads and other 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;
- 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 pricing mechanism;
- Long-term funding commitments to critical national road safety programs including the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and keys2drive; and,
- Funding commitments toward more than $90 billion worth of priority transport projects across all jurisdictions.
For more information or to join the campaign visit: www.keepaustraliamoving.com
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