Queensland says no to distance-based charging


Qld Govt rules out distance-based charging, saying it will not charge motorists based on kilometres travelled

By Brad Gardner | July 20, 2010

The Queensland Government has ruled out distance-based charging despite work still going on by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on the benefits of such a scheme.

Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace has promised the Queensland Government will not introduce a system that charges motorists based on the kilometres they travel.

His pledge comes amid continued work by a sub-group of COAG that is looking at the feasibility of mass-distance-location charging for heavy vehicles.

"As I have said before, we have ruled out congestion based charging and distance based tolling," Wallace told an Estimates Committee last week.

"We have not heard a pip from those opposite about ruling it out. We have ruled it out; they refuse to."

Wallace claims people in regional electorates in North Queensland who have to travel up 100km each way for services will be charged for each kilometre they travel under a distance-based charging model.

The COAG group is due to report at the end of next year on the viability of a new road pricing scheme for trucks despite Treasury Secretary ken Henry recommending work be fast-tracked so mass-distance-location charging can be implemented sooner.

The Government has also repeatedly rejected claims from the Opposition it is planning to implement a congestion tax in South East Queensland as part of a long-term transport plan for the region.

Connecting SEQ 2031, which is due to be released this year, will aim to address transport challenges facing the fast-growing South East.

During his appearance before the Committee, Wallace also cited the effectiveness of heavy vehicle recovery units used to clear trucks off the road following accidents.

"Our heavy vehicle recovery units have helped out at 11 major incidents since their official handover late last year," he says.

Capable of lifting 20 tonnes, Wallace says the units are ideal for clearing accidents that cause traffic congestion.


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