Spend more fuel tax on roads: RACQ

Queensland motoring body says motorists want the Federal Government to spend more of the fuel tax on roads

August 20, 2010

Queensland motoring body RACQ has urged the next Federal Government to spend more revenue from the fuel tax on roads.

In a pre-election poll of its members, the RACQ says most of those surveyed believe not enough money collected from the tax is spent on roads.

According to RACQ spokesman Gary Fites, 75 percent of members believe the amount spent on roads is "much too low" while 24 percent believe all fuel excise revenue should be used specifically for roads.

"The Federal Government collects 38 cents tax from every litre of fuel sold but to date less than a third of that money – 12 cents – is spent on building, improving and maintaining the nation’s roads," Fites says.

He says six percent of respondents believe the current expenditure is about right, while 57 percent say insufficient funds are being made available for national highway maintenance and upgrades.

Fites says the state of Queensland’s road network is poor because of underfunding.

Whoever wins the election tomorrow, Fites says the RACQ will push for a greater share of fuel tax revenue to be spent on Queensland’s highways.

Vehicles over 4.5 tonnes, such as the bus and truck industries, currently receive a fuel tax credit which fell from 16.44 cents a litre to 15.54 cents a litre following an increase to heavy vehicle charges on July 1 this year.

Governments also increased heavy vehicle registration charges on the basis more money was being spent on the road network.

In their election commitments, Labor and the Coalition have committed to investing in the road network.

The Coalition will spend $300 million renewing bridges and $300 million over 10 years on rest areas if elected.

Labor has trumpeted its $27 billion investment in transport infrastructure and its $70 million heavy vehicle program that has funded rest areas and road upgrades.

Both sides have also committed to the Black Spot and Roads to Recovery programs.

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