No road user charges or levies, Qld pledges

Bligh Government claims it will not introduce new road user charges or vehicle levies under new transport plan

By Brad Gardner | March 24, 2010

The Bligh Government has dismissed claims it is planning to introduce a road user charge in Queensland or new levies on vehicles.

Liberal-National MP Lawrence Springborg asked the Government to confirm if the Connecting SEQ 2031 report to be released later this year recommends a congestion charge of five to 30 cents in south east Queensland as part of a new road funding model.

Opposition spokeswoman on transport, Fiona Simpson, also asked if the report recommends a $100 annual levy on each vehicle in the south east corner.

"The government is not considering either a road user charge or an additional vehicle charge or levy of some kind," Transport Minister Rachel Nolan says.

"Those things are not a part of the government’s plan and they are not a part of the government’s agenda."

The Department of Transport and Main Roads is currently preparing the report, which will detail a new transport plan for the south east region of Queensland.

"Connecting SEQ 2031 will be a 22-year regional transport plan that serves the long-term needs of the people living, working, recreating and conducting business in south east Queensland," according to the Queensland Government’s website.

But while the plan is expected to cover greenhouse gas emissions, oil prices, congestion, the website says it will also look at: "increasing costs to provide transport infrastructure and services".

Simpson has criticised the Government’s approach on the issue, saying its transport planning is about three years out of date and the SEQ report should be released now.

She has also questioned the Government’s pledge to not introduce new charges, saying it also abolished the fuel subsidy despite not warning voters before last year’s election.

"The government claims, like it did with the petrol tax, that it will not happen under its watch. We have heard that before," Simpson says.

"The only expertise this Labor government has is in price gouging motorists and ordinary Queenslanders to pay for this government’s mismanagement."

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