Qld will introduce congestion charging: Opposition

By: Jason Whittaker


Queensland Opposition Transport Spokeswoman Fiona Simpson says comments from her Labor Government counterpart Craig Wallace prove a plan to introduce

Queensland Opposition Transport Spokeswoman Fiona Simpson says comments from her Labor Government counterpart Craig Wallace prove a plan to introduce congestion taxes into the State is still very much on the cards.

Simpson’s claims come after Treasurer Andrew Fraser played down such suggestions saying the taxes would not be introduced.

"Andrew Fraser may have given a half-hearted denial that traffic congestion taxes would be introduced, but that is not the view of Craig Wallace," Simpson says.

"During estimates the Minister raised the possibility of charging motorists to use city roads when they become congested.

"He stated that his department is investigating ‘innovative tolling strategies involving distance, time and travel, vehicle occupancy and carbon emissions’."

Simpson says the Government has already increased vehicle registration prices and added "a hefty tax grab" to increase petrol prices and called on Wallace to "come clean" and what Queenslanders can expect to pay in the future.

Meanwhile the Australian Greens say they would only agree to the imposition of a congestion tax in Australian cities if public transport, cycling and walking facilities are dramatically improved.

Greens Senator for WA Scott Ludlam says the cost of urban traffic congestion based on extra travel time and resource use is projected to double by 2020.

"As our recent Public Transport Senate Inquiry concluded, congestion charging can help reduce these costs by discouraging motorists from travelling at the most congested times and places," he says.

"However, the Greens believe that a congestion tax would be an unfair impost unless significant improvements to public transport and other non-driving modes of commuting such as walking and cycling facilities are made at the same time.

"We have to learn from the London experience and make sure that the tax isn’t absorbed into administration costs and consultancy fees, but is ploughed directly back into providing world-class public and active transport."

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