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Families Under Increasing Pressure As Transport Costs Rise Again


Transport is a significant and unavoidable household cost that all levels of government must consider.

The Australian Automobile Association’s Transport Affordability Index for the September 2017 quarter, out today, shows Australian metropolitan households are spending 14.1 per cent of their annual income on transport, up from 13.4 per cent in the previous quarter.

AAA CEO Michael Bradley said city-based households were paying an average of $17,485 per annum – an increase of $191 since the previous index, when factors such as car registration, CTP insurance, public transport, tolls and maintenance were tallied.

“The quarterly index provides a snapshot of prices in cities and regional areas to assist policy makers, media and members of the public understand the financial pressures faced by Australian households in relation to land transport costs,’’ he said.

“The increases we have seen over the quarter are largely attributable to increases in government fees and charges. It really highlights that transport is a significant and unavoidable cost to households and needs to be considered by all levels of government when formulating policies.”

Costs varied significantly between capital cities and regional areas, with results showing that though Sydney remained the most expensive city on price alone – Brisbane was ranked the most expensive city for the cost of transport as a percentage of household income.

The report drew on many information sources including the 2016 census and the recently released ABS Household Expenditure and Income and Wealth surveys.

Key findings included:

  • Sydney households spend the highest amount on transport in the nation at $22,350 per annum. However, when average incomes were considered, Sydney moved to third place.
  • Melbourne was the second most expensive city for transport in dollar terms – with families paying $19,306 per annum – but ranked fourth when incomes were taken into consideration.
  • Regional Australians were paying a national average of $13,883 – accounting for 12.2 per cent of household income.
  • Hobart was the second most expensive city for transport costs – as a percentage of household income – closely behind Brisbane. Families in the Tasmanian city could expect to pay 16.12 percent of their incomes to transport costs.
  • Of the regional centres included in the index, Geelong households paid the most at $14,839 per annum. However, it ranked fifth in terms of a share of income – spending 12.12 per cent of household income on transport.
  • Townsville households paid the least of regional centres included in the index, with costs sitting at $12,865 per annum.


Media contact:

Jonathan Hawkes
0434 660 801
[email protected]

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