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More petrol excise should go to fund a national transport strategy for the future.

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Senator Meg Lees Parliamentary Leader and Senator for South Australia

Press Release Dated: 9 Feb 2001 Press Release Number: 01/75 Portfolio: Transport Related: Treasury

More petrol excise should go to fund a national transport strategy for the future The Australian Democrats have called for 6.5 cents per litre (up from 5 cpl) of petrol excise to be thoroughly accounted for to the public. This would accommodate the Government’s broken promise on petrol taxes last year, and could fund a new national transport strategy addressing local government, public transport, rail and alternative energy - as well as roads.

Democrats’ Leader, Senator Meg Lees, said it was clear that the Government had stopped reporting on road funding to Parliament after 1994 because it wished to hide the extent of its Budget cuts.

“There were big Budget cuts to funding of roads, local government and alternative energy after 1996. Clearly, the Government did not want to be forced to account for this,” Senator Lees said.

“The cuts in funding to local government particularly harmed funding of local road repairs.

“While part of the excise is allocated to road funding, the real rationale for the excise on fossil fuel is to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

“To do that, we need to develop a national transport strategy including making public transport and alternative fuels more attractive.

“As well as road funding, the Democrats believe that part of the excise must be allocated to local government, public transport and alternative transport energy.

“The Democrats support the call by Brisbane’s Labor Lord Mayor, Jim Soorley, for part of the recent excise increase to be allocated to public transport. This would assist the battlers as well as reducing reliance on petrol.

“I believe that the Government would be able to better defend its petrol excise rates if Australians knew that every cent of petrol excise was accounted for and was being put back into transport in some form.

“The Government could get some credibility back regarding petrol prices if the reporting mechanism was expanded from 5 cents a litre to 6.5 cpl, thereby accounting for the 1.5 cents a litre in increased petrol taxes last year, in direct breach of a Government election promise.

“Then the public might find the excise rates a little more acceptable. The failure to account even for 5 cents a litre as required by legislation, on top of last years broken promise on petrol taxes, can only add to public outrage and skepticism about petrol taxes,” Senator Lees concluded.


Top | Email | Tell us what you think Authorised by: Jim Downey, 10 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2604. Copyright © 2001 Australian Democrats Last modified: Thu, 18 May 2000 13:51:26 Today: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 07:02:59