Motorists shortchanged in Federal Budget
The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) is concerned a reduction in road infrastructure investment in this year's Federal Budget will undermine efforts to improve road safety.
"Motorists have been let down and the result will be that road safety is compromised," AAA Executive Director Andrew McKellar said.
Total land transport infrastructure investment is projected to be just $3.64 billion in 2012 13 compared to $7.36 billion in the current financial year.
"This is a significant reduction in investment in road infrastructure and it simply isn't good enough," he said.
"The AAA has warned the Federal Government of the consequences of failing to properly invest in essential land transport infrastructure and this is a missed opportunity."
"The current approach to road funding is deeply flawed. Motorists pay 38 cents a litre in fuel excise, yet only seven cents will be returned through investment to improve road infrastructure – far from a fair deal," he said.
"We urgently need a new model that takes a longer term view to ensure that motorists get a fairer deal for the taxes they pay and where the government looks beyond the year-to-year budget cycle."
"It is encouraging that much-needed additional funding is available for the Pacific Highway in New South Wales but now we need to see governments agree to complete the work."
"However, it is important to remember that overall funding for road infrastructure has been reduced, meaning other crucial projects will miss out," Mr McKellar said.
"Our analysis shows one in six highways are rated as high risk, an unacceptable road safety outcome."
"There is a clear link between improved road infrastructure and lowering the risk of deaths and serious injuries. Reduced investment means lower crash ratings," Mr McKellar said.