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Road policy stands strong against labor statement



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μ 'ms* η D a v i d H a w k e r : Federal Member for Wannon Shadow Minister for Land Transport

M e d i a R e l e a s e

ROAD POLICY STANDS STRONG AGAINST LABOR STATEMENT

It is, in a way, sad to see a Government become so desperate that it will waste millions of dollars of taxpayers' money using the public service to .nislead those same taxpayers.

But this is, unfortunately, what this Government has done, and it is especially true when it comes addressing how road funding is treated in Fightback! And nothing brings it home more than the fact that although Mr Dawkins talks about an "illustrative road user charge" he has not released, under Freedom of Information, Treasury's "model" of those charges. Most of the minutes on road charges that were released were blacked out!

The minutes also go on about the Commonwealth having to fund over $4 billion in road expenditure. This Government has never funded that much road expenditure. Budget 1991-92 funded about $1.5 billion ($355 million of which was Financial Assistance Grants to Local Government) for roads. The rest of the money spent on roads is raised by the

States and Local Government - not the Federal Government. 1

The Coalition is not tied to any Labor Government decisions on State and Local road funding - especially given the debacle of the Special Premiers' Conference. We will have our own negotiations with State and Local Government if need be. The National Road Transport Commission has already vindicated the Coalition's stance on road user charging, by saying they will take into account taxes already paid by road users and the efficiency of road construction and maintenance - despite the Government's best efforts not to have these included!

Why would the Coalition have to follow the strictures of this failed Government on road charging and funding?

The Government is trying to fit Fightback within its own narrow view of the world. It is failing in its attempt because Fightback! is much, much bigger than that, and they, unfortunately for Australia, cannot comprehend that!

ends

Contact: David Hawker (06) 277 4231

Janice Wykes (06) 277 4231 or (06) 288 3946

4 March 1992

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY L IB R A R Y M1CAH