NTC considers congestion charging in infrastructure policy

By: Chris Smith


The National Transport Commission (NTC) may propose a congestion tax as one of many options the Federal Government can look

The National Transport Commission (NTC) may propose a congestion tax as one of many options the Federal Government can look at when developing a national infrastructure policy.

While there has been no official word of a tax, Bus+Coach has been told it is one method the NTC is looking as an answer to urban congestion.

The issue is one of many that will be examined after Minister for Transport Anthony Albanese asked the NTC to advise him on how to develop a national infrastructure policy.

The NTC is currently seeking feedback from transport industry leaders to identify current issues crippling the transport industry and what government and industry can do to rectify the problems.

However, Bus+Coach understands the NTC’s advice will not explicitly call for a massive increase in funding as the answer to the industry’s woes. Rather, it will look at ways of gaining more out of current assets to improve safety, efficiency and productivity.

NTC CEO Nick Dimopoulos, in a speech to the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), indicated what areas the NTC will be looking at.

He argued for the need of cohesive policy, as well as initiatives to address bottlenecks, climate change, safety and the growing freight task.

"A strategic national transport plan has been the broken record and mantra of the National Transport Commission, governments, taskforces, business groups, academics and think tanks for years. Yet little has been done," he told attendees.

Sustainability will also be examined, as the NTC takes into account the Rudd Government’s rhetoric of social inclusion and sustainable cities in the context of transport.

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