WA deserved part of RSRT funds: WARTA

By: Anjali Behl


State transport body plans to set up lobby group to demand ‘fair share’ of federal funding

WA deserved part of RSRT funds: WARTA
WARTA freight and logistics head Cam Dumesny says Western Australia has been ignored by the federal government.

 

The Western Australian Road Transport Association (WARTA) says the state has been short-changed by the federal government in terms of infrastructure funding.

It warns that unless WA receives its "fair share" local transport operators will be forced to incur higher costs.

WARTA says it is unfair that the funds from the scrapped Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) were directed to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), of which neither WA or the Northern Territory are a part.

The state body says Western Australia deserved a part of these funds.

Its freight and logistics division manager, Cam Dumesny, tells ATN that the association will work with other state bodies to ensure that WA receives its "correct share of road funding" from the national total.

WARTA is planning to set up a lobbying group with RAC, Western Australian Farmers Federation (WAFarmers) and the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) to push its message to Canberra.

"We have overwhelming support from local operators, who want us to represent them and lobby on their behalf," Dumesny says.

"WA road transport sector is critical to supporting WA's economy, which generates up to 40 per cent of the national export income, however, when it comes to federal funding we are not given our fair share."

He points out that the state will receive nearly 30 per cent of the total infrastructure project costs by the federal government, which is much lower than the rest of the states that will see nearly half the total projects’ costs covered by federal funding. Furthermore:

"Everyone in WA is aware that we only get back 30 per cent of the GST paid," Dumesny says.

"A recent RAC report shows that WA only gets back 48 per cent of fuel excise paid, meaning WA loses over $3 billion in just four years.

"WA drivers move across some of the longest stretches of roads, many of which lack basic facilities for long-distance drivers.

"We need the money to upgrade our road transport infrastructure to support these drivers."

WA transport minister Dean Nalder tells ATN that his office will demand an explanation from the federal government on this issue.

"Now that we have finalised the Perth/Peel Transport Plan 3.5m People and Beyond, the state government is in the process of updating the regional road network plan and completing an analysis of the share of fuel excise collected from and returned to WA for infrastructure projects.

"Once these are complete, I will be writing to the federal government requesting an explanation as to why we receive less than majority of other states."

The federal government has committed to spend over $500 million on WA infrastructure projects in 2016-17, including:

  • $207.7 million on Perth Freight Link
  • $205.6 million on NorthLink WA project (including the Swan Valley Bypass, and the Tonkin Highway Grade Separations)
  • $78.2 million on Great Northern Highway (Muchea to Wubin)
  • $23.1 million on North West Coastal Highway (Minilya to Barradale)

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